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CLASS OP laas 





PiafcHor of Ifiitory in the Univeriity of Wilconlin 

Someciine Major, U.S.A. Historical Branch, General Stiff 

Author, Ute New Nauon 


9U matOUt fait C«nbtte«c 

— r^y^ 

tTTT ^ 

LLSC^S'iS^i '7'3 




JUNE 13, 1938 



The period covered in this narrative falls between two 
eras. It is preceded by the age of nationail growth across 
the continent, in which one frontier after another was" ab- 
sorbed by society. It seems likely to be followed by an 
era of American permeation of the world. The Civil War 
and Reconstruction furnished much of its spiritual back- 
ground, but belonged to the period that was gone. The 
World War was the natural outgrowth of the rivalries of 
the age itself. Separated from the past by one period of 
reconstruction, and from the future by another, the years 
1877 to 1 92 1 have a distinct unity as the period in which the 
new nation of the Western Hemisphere found itself and 
realized its powers. The years are substantially the age 
of Roosevelt, although they overlap a little at either end 
of the public life of that statesman. More than any other 
American, he seems to have personified his generation, and 
although others may have thought more deeply, or con- 
tributed more permanently to the advancement of Ameri- 
can ideals, his virtues and defects are those that illustrate 
best the American character at the meeting of the cen- 

I owe much of what is good in this book to the careful 
criticism of my wife, and the patient forbearance of my 
secretary. Miss Caroline W. Munro. To the generosity of 
my commanding officer in the World War, Colonel Charles 
W. Weeks, G.S., I owe my opportunity to see in action much 
of the vast machine with which the United States realized 
its determination to maintain its ideal of democracy. 

Frederic L. Paxson 

Madison, Wisconsin 


CHAPTER I. The Basis of Peace i 

Inauguration of Hayes — Cabinet and Congress — Home rule in 
the South — Educational renascence — Land-grant colleges — Reli- 
gious colleges — Women's education — Education of negroes — Pro- 
fessional education — Johns Hopkins University — Bibliographical 

CHAPTER II. Civil and Border Strife 14 

Deadlock over army bills — Canadian annexation — Mexican Revolu- 
tion of 1876 — Indian wars, 1876-77 — Social unrest — National 
Labor Union — The "Molly Maguires" — Railroad strikes of 1877 
— Socialism — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER III. Post-Bellum Ideals 26 

Literary periodicals — Whittier dinner — Mark Twain — The new 
writers — Transition in literature — " Ethiopiomania" — Dialect lit- 
erature — Provincialism — Historical writing — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER IV. Speqe Payments, 1879 35 

Silver and greenbacks — Decline in silver — Mining booms and free 
silver — Bland- Allison Act, 1878 — Resumption Act — Greenback 
Party — Election frauds — Resumption — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER V. The Collapse of the Stalwarts, 1880 46 

Republican factions — Office-holders in politics — Arthur and 
Cornell — Return of Grant — Nominations of 1880 — Election of 
Garfield — Patronage and the Senate — Murder of Garfield — Ches- 
ter A. Arthur — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER VI. The National Transportation Plant 56 

Era of prosperity — Disappearance of frontier — Land grants to 
railroads — The Northern Pacific Railway — Standard time — Star- 
route frauds — The Hubbell letter — Acquittal of Dorsey and 
Brady — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER VI 1. Business and Society 66 

Kerosene — The telegraph — The telephone — The typewriter — 
Incandescent lights — Industrial reorganization — Dev(^pment of 
the South — Money kings — Popular recreation — Bibliographical 

CHAPTER VIII. Reform 76 

Congressional elections, 1882 — Tariff revision — National pro sp er it y 
in the eighties -— Tariff Commission, 1882 — Tariff of 1883 — Ar- 
thur's Administration — Civil service reform — Bibliographical 


CHAPTER IX. The Mugwump Campaign, 1884 86 

Tariff and politics — Benjamin F. Butler — James G. Blaine — The 
Irish vote — The "Mulligan letters" — Mugwumps — Republican 
Convention — Grover Cleveland — The canvass of 1884 — Biblio- 
graphical note. 

CHAPTER X. The National Estate 96 

Cleveland's Cabinet — Civil War pensions — Public land frauds — 
Railroad land grants — Panic of 1884 — Cheap silver money — 
Death of Grant — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XL The Closed Frontier 106 

The cattle kings — American food supply — The long drive — Chi- 
cago stockyards — Cattle ranches — End of the long drive — Inter- 
state commerce — The Granger movement — Oepartment of Agri- 
culture — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XII. Wild West and Sport 116 

Frontier spirit — " Buffalo Bill " — "Greatest Show on Earth " — Rise 
of sport — Yachting — Walking — Boxing — Baseball — Amateur 
sports — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XIII. Labor Ideals 126 

Labor movement — Wages and prices — Bureau of Labor — An- 
archy and socialism — Henry George and labor parties — South- 
western strikes — Potter, Bellamy, and Ford — City-life problems 
— Social workers — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XIV. The Election of 1888 135 

Tariff issue — Party conventions — Benjamin Harrison — Canvass 
of 1888 — Secret ballot — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XV. Protection 145 

Harrison's Cabinet — Organization of Fifty-First Congress — The 
McKinley tariff — Sherman Silver Purchase Act — Anti-monopoly 
movement — Sherman Anti-Trust Law — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XVI. The Far West in Politics 155 

Admission of the omnibus States — Division of Dakota — Indian 
Territory — Opening of Oklahoma — Utah — Woman suffrage — 
Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XVII. Populism 165 

Agricultural over-production — Farmers' Alliances — Drought — 
The Free-silver movement — Southern Alliances — The Populist 
Party — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XVIII. The Reelection of Cleveland, 1892 174 

The Populist platform — The Harrison Administration — The Re- 
publican Convention — Death of Blaine — Renomination of Cleve- 
land — The Canvass of 1882 — Cleveland's second Cabinet — Bib- 
liographical note. 


CHAPTER XIX, The Panic of 1893 184 

State of the Treasury, 1893 — Causes of the panic of 1893 — Panic 
and depression — Repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act — 
Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XX. Industrial Unrest 194 

Free silver and class interests — World's Columbian Exposition — 
The age of steel — The Homestead strike — The Pullman strike 
— Government by injunction — The militia and regular army — 
Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XXI. The Democratic Schism 204 

Democratic campaign pledges — Effect of the repeal of the Sherman 
Act — Successes of the Populists — The state of the Treasury — The 
Wilson tariff of 1894 — The elections of 1894 — The Venezuela dis- 
pute — The new American navy — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XXII. The First McKinley Campaign, 1896 214 

Protection and the gold standard — McKinley and protection — 
Hanna and the Ohio statesmen — McKinley and Hobart — Coinage 
planks in party platforms — William J. Bryan — Populism — The 
gold Democrats — Election of McKinley — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XXIII. The "G.O.P." 224 

Property and politics — Prosperity and rising prices — McKinley's 
Cabinet — The Dingley tariff — Republican counter-reformation — 
The "interests" in politics — Direct primaries — Submergence of 
reform — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XXIV. The War with Spain 233 

Cuban pacification — Insurrection of 1895 — Spain and the insur- 
rection — Woodford and Weyler — Destruction of the Maine — 
Naval mobilization — The Spanish War — Dewey at Manila — Bib- 
liographical note. 

CHAPTER XXV. The Invasion of Cuba 242 

The Philippines and Hawaii — Army legislation — Sampson and the 
Atlantic fleet — Patrol of Cuban coasts — Blockade of Santiago — 
Army and navy codperation — Battle of Las Guasimas — Biblio- 
graphical note. 

CHAPTER XXVI. Santiago and the Peace 252 

Advance on Santiago — Battle of San Juan — Naval battle — Health 
of the army — Armistice — Peace Commission — Problem of the 
Philippines — Congressional election of 1898 — Ratification of the 
treaty — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XXVII. The Campaign of 1900 264 

McKinley and Republican Party — Business in politics — Gold stand- 
ard legislation — Revival of prosperity — The new trusts — Decline 
of Populism — Renomination of Bryan — McKinley and Roosevelt 
— Public opinion and the issues — Assassination of McKinley — Bib- 
liographical note. 


CHAPTER XXVIII. Theodore Roosevelt 274 

Youth of Roosevelt — Early political career — Other activities — 
Two political eras — The office of President — The National Com- 
mittee — Hanna and Roosevelt — Booker T. Washington — Labor 
problems — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XXIX. World Policy 283 

Hay and Root — The "open-door " policy — Panama Canal problems 
— Venezuela intervention — Government of Porto Rico — Cuban 
independence — The Philippines — Reorganization of War Depart- 
ment — Military education — General Staff — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XXX. Business in Poutics 293 

Railroad reorganization — The Harriman system — The Southern 
Pacific merger — Integration of the steel industry — The Sherman 
Anti-Trust Act — The Northern Securities Company — Northern 
Securities prosecution — Anti-trust laws, 1903 — Bibliographical 

CHAPTER XXXI. The Roosevelt Campaign 302 

Cuban reciprocity — Anthracite coal strike, 1902 — Congressional 
election of 1902 — The " Iowa " idea and the tariff — Joseph G. Can- 
non, Speaker — Hanna and the conservatives — The Republicans 
nominate Roosevelt, 1904 — Alton B. Parker, the Democratic nomi- 
nee, 1904 — Campaign funds — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XXXII. Muckraking and the New Standards 312 

Public opinion and business — New types of journalism — The ten- 
cent magazines — Ida M. Tarbell — Literature of exposure — Liter- 
ary and dramatic standards — Vaudeville and movies — Music and 
opera — Religious and social spirit — The Carnegie benevolences — 
The Rockefeller Foundation — Educational trend — Specialists in 
government — Federal civil service — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XXXIII. The Extension of Government Control 325 

Immigration problems — Northern Securities Case — Economics of 
the trust problem — The Ananias Club — The Hepburn Railroad 
Law — Abolition of free passes — Food control, 1906 — Admis- 
sion of Oklahoma — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XXXIV. National Resources 334 

Period of prosperity — Panic of 1907 — Disappearance of American 
frontier — Land losses and conservation — Irrigation — Control of 
water powers — Inland navigation, the Mississippi — Forest re- 
serves — Conservation conference, 1908 — Bureau of Mines — Super- 
vision of business — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XXXV. World Power 343 

American battle fleet, 1907-09 — War Department changes — Taft 
and the colonies — Russo-Japanese War — Algeciras Conference — 
Second Hague Conference — The Declaration of London, 1909 — 
The Panama Revolution — Canal construction — Bibliographical 


CHAPTER XXXVL William Howard Taft 354 

Political mannert, 1900-09 — Republican leaders — Hugliet, Taft, 
and Root — Taft and Sherman — Death of Cleveland — Bryan and 
Kern — Third parties — Labor and politics — Election of Taft — Bib- 
liographical note. 

CHAPTER XXXVII. The Party Pledge 364 

Departure of Roosevelt — Tariff revision — The Payne-Aldrich 
tariff, 1909 — Income Tax Amendment — Rise of insurgents — The 
Ballinger controversy — The West and conservation — Bibliograph- 
ical note. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. Insurgency 373 

I nsurgent revolt — Attack on Cannon — Program of reforms — Change 
in House rules — Administrative progress of Taft — Admission of 
Arizona and New Mexico — Alaska Territory — Railroad Act of 1910 

— Return of Roosevelt — "New Nationalism" — Bibliographical 

CHAPTER XXXIX. The Program of Peace 383 

Goethals and the Panama Canal — Latin-American neighbors — 
Canadian fisheries dispute — James Bryce and British arbitration — 
Carnegie and the Palace of Peace — Taft and the reorganized Su- 
preme Coiut — Champ Clark and the Democratic program — Cana- 
dian reciprocity — Hudson-Fulton celebration — Mechanical and 
scientific progress — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XL. The Campaign of 1912 393 

The National Progressive Republican League — Taft and party split 

— La Follette and the nomination — Roosevelt again — Fight for 
convention delegates — The National Committee and contests — 
Taft and Sherman — The Democratic Convention — Woodrow Wil- 
son — The Progressive Party and Roosevelt — Democratic victory 

— Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XLI. Woodrow Wilson 403 

A minority President — Wilson's Cabinet — Tariff revision — Presi- 
dential leadership — Underwood-Simmons Act, 19 13 — Monetary 
investigations — Federal Reserve Act — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XLII. Federal Control 413 

Anti-trust policies — Finance and trusts — Federal Trade Commis- 
sion — Department of Labor — Children's Bureau — Workmen's 
Compensation — Educational grants — Seamen's Act — Critical 
journalism — Philippine Government — Attack on Bryan and 
Daniels — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XLIII. Watchful Waiting 423 

Bryan in State Department — Mexican Revolution — The Huerta 
Administration — The Mobile Doctrine — Canal treaty with Cok>m- 
bia — Mexican intervention — Diplomatic isolation of United States 

— Repeal of Panama Canal tolls exemption — Central American rela- 
tions — Opening of Panama and Kiel Canals — Bibliographical note. 


CHAPTER XLIV. Neutrality and Preparedness 433 

The World War — American neutrality — Friendly services — Cen- 
sorship and propaganda — Pro-Allies opinion — War revenue legisla- 
tion — Democratic successes, 19 14 — American grievances — The 
submarine — Submarine warfare — "Strict accountability'* — The 
Lusilania — The Preparedness movement — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XLV. The Election of 1916 445 

Pacifist movements — League to Enforce Peace — Munitions em- 
bargoes — German secret intrigue — Sussex ultimatum and pledge — 
National Defense Act, 19 16 — Naval program — Council of National 
Defense — Roosevelt and Progressives — Nomination of Hughes 
by the Republicans — Hyphenated Americans — Wilson and Adam- 
son Bill — Rejection of Wilson — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XLVI. Labor 456 

Wages and cost of living — The Adamson Law — Gompers and the 
American Federation of Labor — Socialist Party — Syndicalism and 
sabotage — State constabularies — Industrial Workers of the World — 
The McNamara and Mooney cases — Americanization — Woman 
Suffrage — Non-Partisan League — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XLVn. The War of 1917 467 

Status of the war — German peace overtures, 1916 — American 
peace terms inquiry — Unrestricted submarine warfare — Breach 
with Germany — Anti-war agitation — Armed merchant ships — 
Senate filibuster — Closure rule in Senate — Russian Revolution — 
War session of Congress — State of war — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XLVHL War Preparation 478 

Council of National Defense — Labor and the war — Socialist split — 
Committee on Public Information — Emergency Fleet Corporation 

— Food and the war — Hoover and Food Administration — Raw 
materials and munitions — Aircraft program — War finance — First 
Liberty Loan — Loans to Allies — Officers* training camps — Selec- 
tive service — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER XLIX. Launching the A.E.F. 489 

General Pershing — Joffre and Balfour — Naval participation — 
Pershing in France — American base in France — Divisions of 191 7 

— The National Army — Draft and officers' training camps — The 
Roosevelt Division — The Espionage Act — War risk and allowances 

— Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER L. War Policies 501 

New conditions of warfare — Neutral trade — The War Trade Board 

— Food and fuel control — Revenue Act of 19 17 — Receipts, expen- 
ditures, and loans — Civilian co<5peration — People's Council for 
Democracy — National unanimity — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER LI. Conservation 512 

The winter of 19 17-18 — Control of priorities — The War Industries 
Board — War service committees — Congestion of transport — Rail- 
roads' War Board — Railroad Administration — Fuelless days — Sen- 


ator Chamberlain's attack— The Overman Act— A "War Cabinet" 
— Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER LII. War Aims 522 

Peace overtures of 191 7 — The " Fourteen Points " — The Stockholm 
Conference — British Labor Manifesto — The Brest-Litovsk Peace 

— "Force without limit " — Allies' Purchasing Commission — Inter- 
Ally Finance Council — Colonel House's "inquiry" — Inter-AUied 
Conference — Supreme War Council — Transport, munitions, and 
food councils — Drive of 191 8 — Foch and supreme command — 
Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER LI 1 1. Work or Fight 533 

Battle of 191 8 — Labor in the war — U.S. Employment Service — 
Government housing — National War Labor Board — "Work or 
Fight" — Baruch and War Industries Board — Requirements, 
prices, and priorities — War Finance Corporation — Pittman Silver 
Act — War Department reorganization — General Goethals; Divi- 
sion of Purchase, Storage, and Traffic — Eighteen to forty-five draft 

— Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER LIV. The Americans in France 543 

Training program of A.E.F. — Quality of American troops — German 
drives — Staff supervision — Cantigny — Chateau-Thierry — The 
second Marne battle — Foch's counter-attack — Allied offensives — 
First American Army — Saint-Mihiel — Meuse-Argonne battle — 
Central Powers collapse — German armistice — Bibliographical 

CHAPTER LV. Peace and the League of Nations 555 

Congressional election of 191 8 — Republican Party reorganized — 
''Unconditional surrender" — American Commission to Negotiate 
Peace — Europe and the peace — Wilson, Lloyd George, Clemenceau, 
and Orlando — Covenant of the League of Nations — Demobilization 
in America — Wilson back in Washington — Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER LVI. Reconstruction 566 

The unsettled world — Wilson in Paris again — Compromises of the 
Peace Conference — The Senate and treaties — Opposition to the 
Treaty of Versailles — The treaty session of Congress — Fight over 
ratification — Collapse of Wilson — High prices and labor unsettle- 
ment — Steel strike of 1919 — Labor conferences and radicalism — 
Bibliographical note. 

CHAPTER LVII. The Election of 1920 578 

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Amendments — International finance, 
1920 — Railroad Control Act — Wilson and the ''solemn referen- 
dum" — The Hoover boom — Harding and Coolidge — The Army 
Act, 1920 — The Jones Merchant Marine Act — The Democratic 
candidates — Cox and Roosevelt — Third party movements — Busi- 
ness conditions and politics — Election of Harding — Bibliographical 

INDEX 589 


Thbodorb Roosevelt, 1858-1919 Frontispiece 

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, D. Litt. Oxon. 1907 28 

First National Meet of the League of American Wheelmen, 
Newport, May 31, 1880 122 

From a contemporary cut in Frank LesUe*s Weekly 

The Court of Honor, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 

1893 196 

American Ships of War, 1887 and 1921 212 

The Army Transport Mount Vernon in the Upper Chamber, 


American Airplanes at Coblenz 484 

General John J. Pershing at a French Port, 1917 490 


The United States in 1870 (f(icing page) 9 

The Caribbean 253 

The Phiuppine Islands 257 

The American Base in France 493 

The Battle of 1918 545 

The United States in 1920 {facing page) 581 




"Let us have peace," was the hope of Grant when he ac- 
cepted his first nomination for the presidency of the United 
States, but the obstacles that prevented a return i^j^ugura. 
of peace to the hearts and lives of his fellow- tion of 
countrymen endured through the next eight ^^^ 
years, and the hope unrealized remained to inspire his suc- 
cessor, Rutherford Birchard Hayes, nineteenth President 
of the Republic. When that successor took the public oath 
of office on Monday, March 5, 1877, there had been added 
to the irritation of the sections the exasperation of a party 
that believed the presidency to have been stolen. The 
most ardent of his adherents could make no surer case for 
his election than that his inauguration was in accordance 
with the law, and that with a free and honest vote his choice 
would have been assured. Only the fact that he, with 
Grant, believed the time had come for peace gave to his 
term a promise of good for the United States. 

Peace or no peace, the United States was in 1877 tired of 
its past — though it had recently celebrated its centennial 
with enthusiasm — and eager to explore its future. War 
and panic and maladministration had left scars that needed 
healing. A reconciliation of its sections, a new organization 
for public and private affairs, a free religion, and a better 
education attracted and filled the public mind. While poli- 
ticians scolded, the people turned their hearts against 
politics for a decade and found their vital interests in intel- 
lectual and economic reconstruction. It was the mission 
of Hayes, once in office, to facilitate this work. From the 


day he formed his Cabinet it was evident that a change had 

The names of his advisers, undetermined until he reached 
Washington, and unannounced until he sent them to the 
Cabinet and Senate, contained a promise for the future. 
Congress William M. Evarts brought to the State Depart- 
ment great fame as a lawyer and the virtue that he was no 
man's man and was friendly with reformers. He was bit- 
terly opposed by Senator Roscoe Conkling, confidant of 
Grant and leader of the New York Republican machine. 
The propriety of John Sherman's appointment to the 
Treasury was heightened by his long associiation with finan- 
cial legislation in the Senate. In the War Department 
George W. McCrary, of Iowa, ousted Don Cameron, son of 
Simon and heir-apparent to the Republican political ma- 
chine in Pennsylvania, whose reappointment Conkling and 
the elder Cameron wished to force. 

Richard M. Thompson, an old Whig spell-binder of 
Indiana, became Secretary of the Navy, succeeding Robe- 
son, of New Jersey, whom the last House had not impeached 
for malfeasance only because the evidence against him fell 
short of the conclusive. At the Post-Office, which Conk- 
ling had wanted for Thomas C. Piatt, his chief-of -staff , was 
David M. Key, who was a hostage of peace and an affront to 
party men because he was a Tennesseean, an ex-Confeder- 
ate, and even a Tilden Democrat. There had been talk of 
taking General Joe Johnston into the Cabinet, but Key was 
the final choice. The cup of bitterness was filled for the 
steersmen of radical Republicanism by the selection of Carl 
Schurz for the Interior Department. Schurz, a Liberal 
Republican of 1872, was a consistently active and earnest 
reformer. He succeeded Zachary Chandler, of Michigan, 
who, as chairman of the Republican National Committee 
in 1876, managed to steer a national campaign without hav- 
ing conference or correspondence with the candidate whom 
he elected. Judge Charles E. Devens, of Massachusetts, as 
Attorney-General, completed what Wendell Phillips, strong- 
mouthed as ever, soon denounced as the *' slave-hound Cab- 


met." From Evarts to Devens the council list, equally 
displeasing to violent radicals and to men grown old in stal- 
wart manipulation of the dominant party, proved what 
S^hurz had written, that the Republican Party had ''nomi- 
nated a man without knowing it," and that Hayes intended 
to establish peace. 

The pledge of Hayes in his inaugural repeated the earlier 
promise of his letter of acceptance that he would restore 
home rule to the South, clean up the national administra- 
tion, and maintain the public credit. With advisers iden- 
tified with each of these three tasks, but with a Congress 
divided against itself, he set to work. The House of Repre- 
sentatives, Democratic since the election of 1874, was more 
anxious to embarrass the Administration than to do its 
work; and in the Republican Senate the President had few 
friends after he sent in his Cabinet list, Tuesday, March 6. 
There was an immediate outbreak of wrath at the trea- 
son to his party seen in the nominations. **The path of 
reform to which he [Hayes] is pledged," said the most im- 
portant of Republican papers, tiie New York Tribune, "can 
go only over the ruins of the average Congressman's dearest 
interests." Blaine, new to the Senate, to which he had 
been appointed in 1876 after thirteen years in the House, 
led in the criticism of presidential policy and in defense of 
Republican control of the South. Conkling, as bitter an 
enemy as Blaine possessed, joined the attack less from dis- 
approval of the Southern policy than from patronage resent- 
ment. Simon Cameron, chairman of the Senate Commit- 
tee on Foreign Relations, was unable to stop the confirma- 
tion of Evarts and the rest, and resigned his seat in the 
Senate; but showed that he — the ''old Winnebago chief- 
tain" — still had power by making his pliant Pennsylvania 
legislature choose his son, J. Donald Cameron, as his suc- 
cessor. The members of the Cabinet received their con- 
firmation with the people less interested than their leaders 
in the wrangle, but the President was left confronting a 
gloating opposition, a divided party, and the most difficult 
of civil tasks. 


In eight of the Confederate States white control had been 
restored before Grant left the presidency. In the remaining 
„ , three there were contests which made possible 

Home rule . 

in the the duplicate electoral returns from Florida, 

"* South Carolina, and Louisiana, upon whose 

counting the fate of the election turned in 1876. In two, 
Louisiana and South Carolina, the Republican State Gov- 
ernments held their control only because federal troops, sta- 
tioned m their state houses by Grant, deterred the Demo- 
cratic claimants from seizing public office. The deterring 
influence was moral rather than physical, since of the whole 
regular army, listed in 1876 as 28,571 officers and men, only 
5885 were within the limits of the Confederacy, and more 
than half of these were occupied with Indian and border 
patrol duties on the Texas plains. In New Orleans there 
were 232 clerks, officers, and men; in Columbia, 141. 

The withdrawal of the last vestige of military control 
from the Southern States was bound up with the fate of 
the claimant Governments. In both South Carolina and 
Louisiana the canvass of 1876 produced fraud to fight ** bull- 
dozing. ' ' Intimidation of negroes entitled to vote under the 
Fifteenth Amendment had matched fraud in counting the 
returns. In each State there were both official and contest- 
ing returns upon the presidential vote as well as upon the 
local vote. The Electoral Commission, declining to go be- 
hind the official record, had counted the official Republican 
vote in each instance ; but the people themselves had organ- 
ized Democratic State Governments in Louisiana and South 
Carolina, with Grant giving official countenance and pror 
tection in each case to the Republican claimants; to Stephen 
B. Packard in Louisiana and to David H. Chambierlain in 
South Carolina. 

The Packard and Chamberlain Governments were both 
inaugurated under federal patronage, but during January 
and February, 1877, while Congress was working out the 
basis for the final presidential count, it became clear that 
the Democratic pretender governors. General Wade Hamp- 
ton in South Carolina and Francis T. NichoUs in Louisiana, 


had the real support. There was no possibility for a unani- 
mous decision upon the titles. Each house of Congress, sole 
judge under the Constitution of the returns of its own mem- 
bers, seated the claimants whom the majority desired, 
Democratic Representatives in one case, and Senators 
chosen by the Republican legislatures in the other. The 
Preside0t by his course could not have pleased even Con- 
gress, let alone all the people, and accordingly he followed 
the course that Grant had already outlined for him before 
inauguration. Grant had protected the establishment of 
the Republican Governments, had maintained the peace, 
but had refrained from defending either Government as 
legitimate. Hayes found peace prevailing on March 4, and 
no sign of an insurrection that could warrant active inter- 
ference by the Executive. ** If all the people whose recog- 
nition amounts to anything refuse to recognize a state 
government, that government falls of its own weight," 
explained the New York Independent, which believed with 
Blaine that the legal title of Chamberlain and Packard was 
as good as that of Hayes. It frankly confessed that it could 
not see ' * how the Federal Government can by a standing 
army take permanent care of a majority that cannot t;^ke 
care of itself." In this view the great body of Americans 
spears to have concurred. Some believed in the validity 
of each contestant, but most were also ready to leave the 
adjustment to be worked out by the people of the South. 

The actual steps in disentanglement took some seven 
weeks. On April 3 the Secretary of War was ordered to 
remove the squad of troops from the Columbia State House 
to their barracks, and on April 20 similar orders cleared the 
State House at New Orleans. In neither case did insult or 
outrage follow the withdrawal. The effective opinion of the 
States in question upheld the Democratic Governments, as 
it had already done in every Southern State. The dispos- 
sessed governors came North to attend Republican conven- 
tions and pour their woes into willing ears, but the North 
was no longer willing to fight ; the war was over. The South 
was solid and the United States had turned its mind from 


strife to the latter tasks of peace. In vain did Blaine shout 
in the Senate, *'You discredit Packard and you discredit 
Hayes." In vain did he hope that "there shall be no au^ 
thority in this land large enough or adventurous enough to 
compromise the honor of the national administration or 
the good name of the great republican party that called 
that administration into existence." The epoch of Blaine 
and his associates, Conkling, Grant, Logan, and Cameron, 
had passed. The new realities of life had for leaders in one 
direction an Astor, a Vanderbilt, and a Gould ; in another, 
an Edison and a Bell; in yet another, Eliot, Angell, Gilman, 
and Alice Freeman. War had been effective only in pre- 
venting disunion; national unity was to be the result of 
business and education. 

Education, as the underlying problem of self-govern- 
ment, had been sensed in the United States from the begin- 
Educa- ^^^S' The first action of the old Congress look- 

tional ing toward the use of the national estate had, 

in the Northwest Ordinance (1787), pledged 
public aid to the common schools, and when issues of im- 
migration and localization arose thereafter, education ap- 
peared to provide the cure. * ' What are you going to do with 
all these things?*' Thomas Huxley asked, at the opening of 
Johns Hopkins University in 1876: '* You and your descend- 
ants will have to ascertain whether this great mass will 
hold together under the forms of a republic and the despotic 
reality of universal suflFrage.'* The university that he was 
helping to launch was itself convincing evidence of the pas- 
sion for education at all levels and in all directions that had 
begun to consume the American people during the Civil War, 
and that brought forth new enterprises every few months 
from 1865, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
and Vassar College began their experiments, until the middle 
eighties when the university had been differentiated from 
the college, and the whole system of education was in full 
blast. College, university, normal, technical, and secondary 
education were at work upon the American character. 

American education during the first century of independ- 


ence was narrower in fact than in theory. It began in the 
district school, and ended there for most of the population. 
In the older communities colleges, generally under religious 
control, carried a few boys on to law, medicine, and theology. 
In the newer regions, where land grants had been pledged 
to public education. State seminaries and universities belied 
their name, and did the work of indifferent high schools. 
Of technical training there was almost none except in the 
United States Military Academy at West Point. Railroad 
and canal promoters turned thither for chief engineers, who 
made the surveys, and often retired from the army to man- 
age the roads. Geoi^e B. McClellan, after a young man's 
distinguished career in the regular army, was president of 
a railroad when the Civil War b^an. 

A divorce between education and the affairs of the world 
grew clearer as science began to demand recognition in the 
thirties. Here and there a president saw the need for a wider 
angle in the coll^iate vision. Francis Way land realized it 
at Brown, whose presidency he assumed in 1826. Horace 
Mann, as secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Educa- 
tion, worked toward it after 1837. But the general mandate 
upon the college president was that he should be a father to 
his boys, and **by timely interference prevent bad habits, 
detect delinquencies, and administer reproof and punish- 
ment." The college faculties clung to the old precedents 
in the curriculum. 

College education declined in general repute in the middle 
of the nineteenth century. Perhaps the crystallization of 
the course, perhaps the rejection of science, perhaps the ar- 
rogance of the classics caused it; but whatever the reason 
there were fewer collegiate students in 1870 than in 1830. 
The studies of F. A. P. Barnard, who started Columbia 
upon a modem course when he assumed her presidency in 
1864, give the estimate that in 1830 the Uffited States had 
645 such students per million of population, in 1850 only 
497, and in 1869 but 392. An effort to arrest the decline — 
for there was no despair of education — brought religion, 
capital, and the frontier spirit into conjunction. 


In the summer of 1862 Congress, having completed its 
homestead system and having for a dozen years contributed 
Land-grant directly to the building of the Western railroads, 
colleges passed the Morrill Act endowing in every State 
a land-grant college of agriculture and mechanic arts. Only 
a handful of the States already had such collies, the Michi- 
gan Agricultural College ( 1 857 ) at Lansing standing out as the 
earliest of its kind ; but every State accepted the proposed 
lands and s^plied them shortly to an existent college, to the 
State university, or to a new creation. The universities 
of Wisconsin, California, Illinois, and Minnesota received 
impetus from this toward a new curriculum and standard. 
In New York the subsidy was added to the benefaction of 
Ezra Cornell whose university opened in 1868. In Pennsyl- 
vania the new State college was chiefly a school of agricul- 
ture. In Massachusetts the proceeds were divided between 
an agricultural collie and the Institute of Technology. 

The result of federal policy was most striking in the 
Western schools, but it was real throughout the whole 
Union. As the agricultural colleges were enlarged and 
strengthened, as they added experiment and research, and 
began in another generation to show positive results in dis- 
covery and invention, they tended to lessen the gap that 
had separated education and life before the Civil War. 

The growth of education in State and land-grant univer- 
sities stimulated the religious zeal that had dotted the 
Religious country with its foundations since colonial days, 
colleges Ij^ ^j^g East, Hicksite Friends opened their 

Swarthmore College in 1869; the Congregationalist college, 
Carleton, at North field, Minnesota, began work in 1870; 
the Boston University of the Methodists was a complete and 
going concern by 1873, as was the Episcopal University of 
the South at Sewanee, Tennessee, by 1876; and from this 
time until the rftunificence of John D. Rockefeller reopened 
the University of Chicago under Baptist rule in 1892 there 
was continuous pressure to stimulate the old and start new 
projects for education within the safeguards of religion. 

The wealth of Americans flowed freely into all of these 



activities as public interest, deadened in politics in the sev- 
enties, turned more wholly to education as guarantee for the 
future. The average citizen resented the education tax less 
than any other. The private purse opened voluntarily to the 
religious college and the non*sectarian as well — to women, to 
n^^oes, to poor whites at the South, and to the new vocations. 

Matthew Vassar was not the first to desire real collie 
discipline for girls, but his collie, opened at Poi^hkeepsie 
in 1865, is a great landmark in the education of Women's 
women as well as a measuring-rod for their at- ^"cat»on 
tainments. The long existence of its preparatory depart- 
ment revealed the dearth of women prepared for college. 
If the trustees exacted high entrance requirements they 
could not fill their dormitories, and the collie would face 
financial disaster. If they filled up with preparatory stu- 
dents they learned that the discipline and type of teaching 
needed by girls of sixteen spoiled the college for its more 
mature students. Between the devil of bankruptcy and the 
deep sea of the young ladies' seminary they struggled along 
for many years, as did Wellesley, which opened on the out- 
skirts of Boston in 1875. More fortunate in its financial 
arrangements was the college that grew from the gift of 
Sophia Smith, of Northampton, Massachusetts. This could 
afford to wait to test its conviction that girls could stand the 
strain of Greek as well as boys. It opened in 1875 with only 
fourteen freshmen, whom it allowed to ripen as genuine 
collegians, letting in a new class of freshmen each succeed- 
ing autumn and paying the full price for a high standard 
fully maintained. A decade later, when Bryn Mawr College 
opened its doors, the preparatory schools had caught up, 
and there was no talk of letting down the bars. Instead of 
this, Bryn Mawr could tell of the duty of its teachers to 
be men of industry and research, professionally instead of 
accidentally drawn into their college work. 

In the West the women had an easier entry into the field 
of higher education. Here the frontier had clarified the 
rights of women and here the colleges were new, lacking 
tradition of exclusive masculinity; and here by 1870 it had 


become the general practice to co-educate the boys and 
girls. Women entered the men's coU^iate course. In in- 
creasing numbers the experiment of co-education was tried, 
with no bad consequences. Spurred by the activities of the 
women's colleges in the East and co-education in the West, 
Harvard and Columbia felt a need to extend their work. 
The "Annex" at Harvard offered its first courses in 1879 
and developed into Radcliffe College a little later. At 
Columbia the admonitions of President Barnard to take 
like action were long in vain, but when the women got their 
college it received his name. In 1882 thirteen colleges and 
universities, all doing men's work for women, shared in the 
formation of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae. 

The part education was to play in the real reconstruction 
of the Sbuth impressed the imagination at an early date. 
Education Under the protection of the Freedmen's Bureau 
of negroes schools were opened almost before the echoes 
of the guns were silent. In 1867 George Peabody handed 
over to a group of notable trustees a fund to help the "more 
destitute portions of the Southern and Southwestern States 
of our Union." From this fund negro schools and normal 
schools were aided and encouraged year after year. In 
1875 a normal college at Nashville became the largest single 
interest of the fund, which, in another generation, passed 
its remaining assets to this college and wound up its work. 
JohnF. Slater, of Connecticut, inaugurated a friendly rivalry 
to Peabody when he set aside a million dollars in 1882 for 
"the uplifting of the lately emancipated people of the South- 
em States. ' ' Booker T. Washington began, with small equip- 
ment and a large vision, in 188 1, his Tuskegee experiment of 
self-help for negroes. 

The growth of professional education fills the same two 
decades after the Civil War. Agriculture, engineering, 
Professional law, and teaching shifted to a new basis of inter- 
education ^^ ^^^^ popularity. The normal schools multi- 
plied and grew into the teachers' college. The high school 
entered upon its delicate mission mediating between the 
needs of the common school and the exactions of the over- 


shadowing university. Its task grew in volume and diffi- 
culty as a prosperous nation sent ever larger numbers of its 
children into the high school, in which it had full confidence, 
and on into the university where its uncertainties were grow- 
ing less. From 392 to the million of population, when Bar- 
nard examined the figures of higher education in 1869, the 
ratio of attendance rose to 1161 in 1880, and to 1913 in 
1900, with endowment, equipment, and public interest 
growing in proportion. 

The renascence of American education began simultane- 
ously with the legislation of the sixties, which created the 
land-grant colleges in 1862 and a United States Bureau of 
Education in 1867. The stream of private benefactions 
that still flows unchecked began its run. Public leaders in 
education formed a new school of college teachers who were 
neither pedants nor pedagogues, but were statesmen in the 
best sense. Charles W. Eliot, beginning his reign at Har- 
vard in 1869, was the most prominent of these, but at his 
side were White at Cornell and McCosh at Princeton (1868), 
Angell at Michigan and Porter at Yale (1871), Alice Free- 
man at Wellesley (1882), and Gilman at Johns Hopkins 
(1876), Pepper at Pennsylvania (1881) and Northrop at 
Minnesota (1885); while the newly inspired universities 
were training Wilson, Lowell, James, Jordan, and Van Hise 
to take the lead a generation later. 

At Johns Hopkins University the new education made 
its special imprint. The great teachers of the old colleges 
had been drafted from the clergy, with only j^j^^g 
general preparation for their work. Beginning Hopkins 
about the thirties there had come now and then '"^^®* ^ 
young men inspired with science and scholarship from the 
German universities. Only in the seventies did advanced 
work in America become possible. There were in 1850 
eight graduate students recorded in the United States, said 
Ira Remsen in his Johns Hopkins inaugural in 1902; and in 
1875 but 399. By 1900 there were 5668, in whose produc- 
tion and training no one had surpassed the predecessor of 
Remsen at Johns Hopkins — Daniel Coit Gilman, 


It was Oilman who shaped the graduate university for 
which Johns Hopkins gave three and one half millions to 
Baltimore and the South, founding its leadership not upon 
a shell of buildings, but upon teachers and scholars. Here 
Gildersleeve and Martin and Adams trained the graduate 
who filtered into the new faculties of the eighties, and dis- 
turbed the tranquillity of the old with their ideas of re- 
search. It was science and scholarship, not irreligious, but 
without religious bias. The inaugural orator, Thomas Huxt 
ley, in 1876, by his presence indicated the courage of Gil- 
man's scientific conviction, for evolutionists were in dis- 
repute and even Charles Darwin had not yet received his 
Cambridge LL.D. Science was on the program at Johns 
Hopkins, but not prayer; and to one who complained of the 
lack of the latter a clergyman aptly answered: '* It was bad 
enough to invite Huxley. It were better to have asked God 
to be present. It would have been absurd to ask them 

The warfare of science and religion was at its height when 
Hayes became President, but society was clearly turning 
to education to solve its problems. ''What is the signifi- 
cance of all this activity '^" asked Gilman at the opening of 
his university: **It is a reaching out for a better state of 
society than now exists ; ... it means a wish for less misery 
among the poor, less ignorance in schools, less bigotry in 
religion, less suffering in the hospital, less fraud in business, 
less folly in politics ; it means more love of art, more lessons 
from history, more security in property, more health in 
cities, more virtue in the country, more wisdoni in legisla- 
tion; it implies more intelligence, more happiness, more 


James Ford Rhodes, History of the United States from Hayes to McKinley, 
iSyy-iSgd (1919), is volume viii of his monumental and invaluable work. 
John W. Burgess, Administration of President Hayes (19 16), is a sketchy 
continuation of his writings on the Civil War. Paul L. Haworth, The 
HayeS'Tilden EUctiop of 1876 (1906), gives the best view of the electoral 
contest; his United States in Our Own Times^ i86S'ig2o (1920), contains a 


general narrative of the period, which may be studied from a different angle 
In Charles A. Beard, Contemporary American History (1914), and Charles 
R. Lingley, Since the Civil War (1920). Charles R. Williams, Rutherford 
Birchard Hayes (1914), is a definitive work based upon the correspondence 
and diary of the President. James G, Blaine, Twenty Years of Congress 
(1884), was for many years the standard Republican history of its period. 
The educational renascence may be studied in James B. Angell, ReminiS' 
cences (1910); Fabian Franklin, Daniel Coil GUman (1910); George H. 
Palmer, Alice Freeman Palmer (1908), one of the most charming American 
biographies; Andrew D. White, Autohiagraphy (1905); Amokl Haultain, 
Selections from Goldwin Smith* s Correspondence [1846-1912] (n.d.): and 
Scott and Stowe, Booker T. Washington (1916), which supplements the 
view of n^;ro progress given in Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery 




The army of the United States, fixed by law in the last 
year of the Grant Administration at a maximum strength 
Deadlock ^' 25,ooo, was released from one of its duties 
oyer army by the Southern policy of President Hayes. It 
was no longer obliged to police the South. And 
its members were no longer certain of their livelihood, for 
the outgoing Congress in 1877 had deadlocked over the use 
of troops as posse for civil purposes, and the Democratic 
House had defeated the army appropriation bill rather than 
concede a duty to protect the voting rights of citizens or to 
defend the peace. From William Tecumseh Sherman at 
its head, down the long list of general officers whose names 
suggested a roster of Union victories, the army was hated 
at the South — and not loved even at the North. A special 
session of Congress to vote their pay was announced soon 
after the inauguration, but many more events were to draw 
notice to the army before October 15, 1877, when that Con- 
gress met. 

With the remote world America was in profound peace, 
and the last of the settlements with Great Britain under the 
Treaty of Washington was nearly reached. This was the 
Halifax arbitration of the value to Canada of certain rights 
in the St. Lawrence fisheries, claimed and wanted by New 
England. The award on November 23, 1877, failed to 
please the United States, but it at least closed one aspect of 
the case; while throughout Canada events were pointing 
toward a new relationship — annexation. 

From an early period in the century all of Canada was 
conscious of the nearness of the United States, if only 
Canadian through the anti-American feelings of those 
annexation exiled tories who, as United Empire Loyalists, 
had been colonized in New Brunswick and Ontario after 


the Revolutionary War. Upper Canada had felt the near- 
ness during the rebellion of 1837, when New York proved a 
convenient recruiting ground for rebels; and both Upper 
and Lower Canada served through the sixties as a base for 
Confederate attacks upon the American border, or as an 
objective for Fenian raids by American Irishmen upon the 
territory of Great Britain. Beyond the Great Lakes the 
Canadian Northwest was nearer to St. Paul than to any 
other center of population, and derived its annual supplies 
over the trail thence to Red River. Its urgent pressure 
forwarded the railroad construction that laid the founda- 
tions for the fortunes of Lord Strathcona and James J. Hill. 
The approaching completion of an American Pacific rail- 
way in the later sixties drove Canadians to uiige a Pacific 
railway of their own, or, failing that, incorporation with 
America. The Dominion Act with its impetus to the 
imperial bond came simultaneously with the purchase of 
Alaska (1867) which made America Canada's neighbor at 
another corner. All through the seventies Canadian politics 
were filled with imperialism as the alternative to annexation. 
The latter policy had the valiant aid of Goldwinr Smith, 
professor at Toronto and once regius professor at Oxford. 
Smith had been imported to the United States by Andrew 
D. White to aid in building the new university at Ithaca 
(Cornell), and had soon crossed the border to live in Can- 
ada, retaining meanwhile a wide acquaintance in and a 
keen understanding of America. A Canadian ejection of 
1878 broughtSir John A. MacDonald and imperial protection 
back to power, but annexation and its various substitutes 
continued to clamor on the northern border for another 
fifteen years. 

There was no talk of annexation coming out from Mexico. 
Here, instead, a new dictator was struggling to establish 
his government and to prevent the United States Mexican 
from acquiring an excuse for intervention. Por- Revolution 
firio Diaz proclaimed himself provisional presi- 
dent in November, 1876, and proceeded to demand im- 
mediate recognition from the United States through John 


W. Foster, the American Minister. It was the disposi- 
tion of Grant to recognize at once, but Foster held off, dis- 
cussing first the measure of control that the new president 
possessed over his army and his unenthusiastic subjects. 
Along the Rio Grande this control was a matter of critical 

For many years before the revolution of 1876 the United 
States had complained of the inability of Mexico to police 
the stretch of territory from El Paso, where the Del Norte 
emerges from the mountain trough of New Mexico, to 
Brownsville and Matamoros, where it empties into the 
Gulf. West of El Paso there was friction, more or less, but 
there were too few Americans to make it menacing. The 
Southern Pacific Railroad had not yet crossed the Colorado 
River into Arizona, and even bad Mexican "greasers" could 
do little damage there. But below El Paso there were iso- 
lated tracts of settlement on each side of the river, which as 
yet no railroad touched or even approached, with a ** dense 
chaparral of cactus, Spanish dagger, mesquite, and other 
similar plants** in the interstices where there was not actual 
desert. ' Here cattle throve, and cattle thieves abounded 
who forded the river and ran off American stock, leaving 
behind too often a trail of burning ranches, slaughtered 
owners, and mutilated women and children. **Our people 
are murdered," complained Governor Hubbard of Texas 
in 1878, *' their property stolen, and, with but rare excep- 
tions, our. claims for redress are met with indifference, and 
our demands for fugitive thieves and murderers laughed to 
scorn from the opposite side of a shallow river, and almost 
within sight of their victims." 

The recognition that Diaz demanded was deferred until 
April, 1878, and until new measures to protect the Texas 
border had been taken by President Hayes. Most of the 
regular troops remaining in the South in April, 1877, when 
they were finally detached from Southern police duty, were 
on the border of Texas, stewing in the sun and chasing ban- 
dits. Their attempts to secure cooperation with the Diaz 
troops were vain. On June i, 1877, by order of Hayes, 


General Ord, who commanded in Texas, was directed to 
dbregard the Rio Grande and to pursue thieves over the 
international boundary into Mexico. With solemn words 
the Mexican Government protested this invasion of its 
sovereignty, but the raids soon lessened under the vigorous 
pursuits of Lieutenant-Colonel W. R. Shafter. The ene- 
mies of the Administration avowed that this was war, and 
that the South, in the saddle again, was desirous to redress 
the balance of the Union by forcible annexation. But 
Hayes stood firmly by his policy, and in his own good time 
gave recognition to the great Mexican dictator. 

The Southern vote, clamoring in Congress for army re- 
duction and getting it in 1876, fighting the police duties 
and leaving the troops unpaid, had nevertheless wanted this 
Texas patrol kept to the front and the cavalry regiments 
recruited for this purpose to full strength. Anotdier West- 
on duty in the summer of 1877 revealed again the depend- 
ence of the United States upon an army and the straits to 
which sectional politics had reduced it. 

There had been no systematic Indian wars for several 
years before 1876, the campaigns between 1864 and 1868 
and the general peace negotiations of 1 867 having Indian wars, 
marked the end of a period of general restlessness. " ^76-77 
In 1876, however, the Dakota Sioux, exasperated by pros- 
pectors in the Black Hills region, gave pretext for a punitive 
campaign. A column under General Custer was destroyed 
oil the Little Big Horn early in this enterprise, and Sitting 
Bull with his followers escaped to a refuge in Canada. 
Unwelcome guests, but not expelled from Canada, the 
Sioux braves were in 1877 negotiating for a return to the 
United States. In June the Nez Percys of Idaho followed 
them upon the war path. 

The grievances of the Nez Percys were trespass and ex- 
tortion, and excited the commiseration of even their official 
scourge. General O. O. Howard. * They were thie guiltless 
victims not of special malice, but of the relentless f rontia* 
that had ever pushed over the obstructions in its way, and 
of the weakness of administration that left the army too 


small for an Indian police and poorly adapted to it. In Can- 
ada the Royal Mounted Police had little trouble with their 
wards, doing with twos and threes what whole regiments of 
cavalry found trying tasks on the American side. Toward 
Canada Chief Joseph of the Nez Percys started, once actual 
hostilities began in June, 1877. The raid began in the 
Clearwater country of Idaho ; thence across that State and 
Montana, too, went the fugitive, with General Howard in 
pursuit until Chief Joseph was maneuvered into the arms of 
Colonel Nelson A. Miles in October. To reenforce Howard 
it was necessary to send a regiment from Atlanta, Georgia, 
and unpaid at that. The public remained indifferent to 
General McClellan's plea that it cost nearly as much to 
transport troops such great distances as would keep a rea- 
sonable army on the ground. 

The greatest of the military emergencies of 1877 occurred 
not on the border or among the sullen and outraged Indians, 
Social but in the most populous and wealthy region in 

^^^^Bt ^g East, where outbreaks in J uly caused thought- 

ful men to ask whether government itself could last in the 
face of threatened revolution. The railroad strikes along the 
Baltimore and Ohio and the Pennsylvania lines, and ex- 
tending to their neighbors, brought a new element into the 
American situation — that of a class struggle with revolu- 
tionary ideals fighting the existing order. Socialism and 
anarchy abroad, with the recollection of the excesses of com- 
munism in Paris after the last war, disturbed many minds. 
Tourgenieff's Virgin Soil was among the newer books, 
through whose pages the reader could see into the vortex 
of social unrest. 

The immediate cause of the railroad strikes of 1877 was a 
general reduction of wages, effective July i, and occasioned 
by hard times with shrinking freight receipts. The panic 
of 1873 caught the American railroads overbuilt. The en- 
suing depression forced fnany of them into bankruptcy, to 
emerge from which they reorganized, sacrificing in turn 
stockholders, bondholders, and, finally, employees. These 
last fought against the reduction, led by the Brotherhood 


of Locomotive Engineers, and countenanced by labor so far 
as it was organized. 

The labor movement, with its resulting stratification of 
society, left the United States almost untouched until the 
middle of the nineteenth century. An agricultural people, 
with unlimited free land on its margin, expected the normal 
citizen to work for his parents in youth ; then to work awhile 
for wages; then to marry and make a farm somewhere. 
There was never enough labor for the ordinary crafts of non- 
industrial society, and no man of industry was driven long 
to work at an uncongenial job. It accordingly happened 
that unions of laborers were local and temporary, few reach- 
ing wide or permanent organization before the Civil War. 
The crisis induced by high and fluctuating prices, as the cur- 
rency dropped in the last year of the war to thirty-five cents 
on the dollar, and aggravated by the over-supply of labor 
as the armies returned to civil life, gave the shock that 
crystallized out of society organized labor on a large scale. 

The organization of national trade unions progressed 
far enough during the Civil War to make possible the 
consideration of a general federation. After va- N^^i^n^i 
rious caucuses held by the unionists a group of Labor 
some fifty delegates of national crafts met at the ^^^^ 
Front Street Theater in Baltimore and formed a National 
Labor Union in August, 1866. For several years thereafter 
the annual congresses of this body considered the obtainable 
needs of labor, and struggled against the efforts of other 
agitators to graft their reforms upon the labor stem. The 
eight-hour day was an immediate objective, as were factory 
laws and statistical studies. In the meeting of 1867 the in- 
fluence of German socialists was noted, and an idea of re- 
pudiating the national debt took root. The next year, with 
an estimated membership of 640,000 in member unions, the 
National Labor Union reached the crest of its importance. 
After this it lost its single devotion to labor problems. It 
flirted with women's rights, adopted an outright political 
problem, and became forerunner to the independent party 
of Greenbackers th4t emerged in 1876. It lost its grip on 


labor as it broadened its aims. After 1-872, when the Na- 
tional Labor Party and the National Prohibition Party 
were bom simultaneously at Columbus, it died. But it set 
a paioe £or labor in the fat years of the later sixties ; and in 
the lean years after the panic of 1873 it was an inspiration 
for imitators. 

The history of unionism is embedded in conscious secrecy 
during these years. Many employers dismissed known 
unionists on sight and had favorable public opinion behind 
them. "If they [the National Labor Congress of 1868] 
could . . . banish from their discussion the idea of a necessary 
and inherent enmity between Capital and Labor, it would 
be a great step toward the end they seek/' said Horace 
Greeley's paper. "Having left the service of the com- 
pany," wrote another observer of a great strike, "they [the 
strikers] should have recognized the fact that they had no 
longer any interest in its action, and should have sought 
employment elsewhere." And a Wall Street journal, ex- 
pressing the most stubborn of the anti-labor opinions, said, 
as late as 1877, " the only injustice a railroad can inflict upon 
its men is to neglect paying them." 

With public opinion averse to their existence and s^prov- 
ing their destruction, the promoters of unionism had the al- 
ternatives of secrecy and starvation ; but the reclassification 
of society due to the entry of tiie factory could not but com- 
pel them to strive for better tilings. Too often they were 
injured by the confusion of darkness. The secrecy in which 
they must be cloaked was used by less worthy movements 
for less desirable ends. In Pennsylvania, among the anthra- 
cite miners, the discovery of a secret murderous society dis- 
credited for a time all labor organizations. 

The "Molly Maguires" started a reign of terror in the 
anthracite region early in the sixties. The demand of the 
The "Molly Extern cities for hard coal attracted thither 
Maguires" large quantities of unskilled labor, much of it 
Irish, during the sixties and early seventies. The social 
conditions in the mining towns were always bad, but the 
labor was so fluctuating in personnel and the distiuctiof), 



between the miner and his unskilled helpers so sharp, that 
unionism took root slowly. The ''Mollies" tried to do by 
terror what unions might have done by open dealings. They 
beat and murdered unpopular foremen, bosses, or owners, 
and in their secret way they became an agent as often for 
private malice as for group action. Their reign was never 
even threatened until James McParlan, a courageous de- 
tective, entered the district in 1874. 

McParlan, in disguise, became a "MoUie" and worked 
his way into the confidence of the inner ring of murderers. 
When the time was ripe, he turned in his evidence against 
the leaders. In May, 1 876, he threw off his disguise and took 
the stand against one of them on trial for murder, and in his 
testimony let the people see the crime that had existed. 
Against intimidation, threat, and public pressure he con- 
tinued his work for law and order, and the governor of 
Pennsylvania, Hartranft, refused to call him off. In the 
end, Mauch Chunk and Pottsville were the scene of eleven 
hangings of the conspirators, the first executions in a series 
of murder scandals running freely since 1865. This was in 
June, 1877. It prepared the public mind to believe any bad 
tale about a secret order and to consider a union of workers 
as a menace to society. In the same weeks events were 
preparing for a general strike. 

The organization of railroad employees came at an early 
stage in the union movement. They were a new and grow- 
ing class. The engineers, firemen, and conduc- r^^i,^ 
tors were responsible and skilled. Their in- strikes of 
dustry was receiving recognition as basic in 
national development, and the engineers since 1863 had 
been organized. In this year their national union, the 
Brotherhood of the Footboard, appeared, changing its 
name in 1864 to the Grand International Brotherhood of 
Locomotive Engineers. In 1874 P. M. Arthur assumed 
direction of their affairs as grand master engineer. In 
April, 1877, came a strike on the Philadelphia and Reading, 
a coal carrier whose president, Franklin M. Gowen, was 
at that moment acquiring, in hb fight against the " Mollies " 


in his mines, an intolerance of all organization among his 
employees. No wage question W2is immediately involved, 
but Gowen announced in March that all his engineers must 
choose between the railroad and the Brotherhood. In re- 
sponse to this the engineers took their locomotives into the 
roundhouses at midnight, April 14, 1877, and went on strike. 
In both of these strikes non-union men took out the engines 
almost before their fires were cold, and detention of travel 
was slight. In July, however. President Hayes and the 
governors of four States called upon the troops at their 
command to control the violence incidental to the more 
ominous outbreak on the line of the Baltimore and Ohio. 

No industrial uprising since the Chartist demonstration 
of 1848, when the old Duke of Wellington barricaded Lon- 
don against the mob, so greatly disturbed the comfortable 
elements of society as this strike that began in Baltimore 
and Martinsburg on Monday, July 16, 1877. The wage 
reductions effective on all the trunk lines were the occasion, 
and when the company tried to move its trains with non- 
union crews, their course was impeded by riotous mobs. 
Trains were stopped, crews were assaulted, cars and coaches 
were overturned, and arson was added to violence and 
murder. How far the strikers were personally guilty does 
not appear. In all the railroad towns there was sharp dis- 
content because of slack times or unemployment. There 
were, too, crowds of boys and hoodlums. The tramp nui- 
sance, much commented on in this summer, provided out- 
casts ready for violence and theft. And the result was out- 
rage that recalled the Civil War and seemed to foretell 
another social cataclysm. 

By Tuesday, July 17, Baltimore was under control, with 
trains running locally ; but the governors of Maryland and 
West Virginia had called out their militia and besought 
aid of the United States. Martinsburg was in possession of 
the mob. The next day Hayes, by proclamation, warned 
the mobs to cease obstruction, and squads of troops were 
scraped together from the thin Eastern garrisons and hur- 
ried to centers of disturbance. At Martinsburg the procla- 


mation and the troops produced quiet by the 19th. but the 
disorder spread west and north to the Pennsylvania lines 
at Pittsburgh. 

In Pennsylvania a new administrative rule for double- 
header trains requiring only one crew to do the work of two 
aggravated the trouble produced by wage reductions, and 
Thomas A. Scott, president of the road, became the object 
of attack. Governor Hartranft ordered the rioters around 
Pittsburgh to disperse on July 20, by proclamation at- 
tested by Matthew S. Quay, then Secretary of the Common- 
wealth; and on Saturday afternoon, July 21, General Brin- 
ton's Pennsylvania militia engaged the rioters in a pitched 
battle as they tried to clear the tracks in Pittsburgh. The 
next day was, indeed, a "bloody Sunday" in Pittsburgh, 
with mayor and sheriff helpless, tiie militia generally im- 
potent, and the mob burning and shooting. The union 
depot was destroyed that afternoon. 

In the next week the wave of unrest spread to the Dela- 
ware, Lackawanna, and Western and west to Chicago. The 
New York Central was held loyal by a judicious bribe of 
$100,000 which William H. Vanderbilt, who had just suc- 
ceeded to the control of the great estate of his father, the 
"Commodore,'* had promised his men. In Chicago, on 
the 26th, the week ended in a pitched battle in Turner Hall, 
where the police broke up a meeting of alleged communists 
and ejected them from their meeting-place. 

Through these eleven days the railroad riots advertised 
the opening of a new industrial epoch and affected every 
class of society. Labor leaders, while only occasionally 
defending violence, were united in denouncing the use of 
troops. A grand jury in Pittsburgh, instead of hunting out 
mob leaders for punishment, tried to secure conviction of 
the militia officers whose commands, bewildered and badg- 
ered, had fired upon the rioters. It was observed that 
the militia were often unequal to the tasks of riot duty, 
whereas federal proclamations, supported by a mere hand- 
ful of regulars, produced order at once. Republican leaders 
in general ceased for a time their attacks upon Hayes to 


castigate the South for its weakening of the army. Con- 
servative citizens, fearful that this was only the opening 
gust of a social cyclone, regretted the lack of a stronger 
national government. 

The strikers themselves went quietly back to work after 
their effort had wasted its strength in blind explosion. The 
bottom of the financial depression had been reached, and 
hereafter conditions generally improved for the men at 
work, while the dangerous army of the unemployed lessened 
as new jobs drew off its more industrious units. It was a 
squall, but not a revolution; the stability of government 
was affected not at all; and the opponents on both sides 
turned directly to popular institutions to record their 
claims. The operators appealed to legislatures to admit a 
doctrine of public responsibility for property lost through 
mob violence; the unionists for more favorable labor and 
militia laws. The ** moral instinct of the people'* had been 
the real vindicator of law and order. 

The railroad strikes of 1877 gained nothing immediately 
for the workers but publicity and a keener feeling for the 
_ . ,. identity of their interests. Their leaders moved 

on along the course of superior organization, and 
a new order, the Knights of Labor, which had existed in 
seclusion since 1869, raised its head above the surface as a 
coordinating body. New immigrants added their influence 
to what agitators described as the war of classes, and many 
of them speedily rose to places of leadership because the 
workers of Europe had thought out the problems of social 
order more penetratingly than had Americans. Socialism, 
against which Germany, Russia, and France were raising 
their weapons, entered America as an adjunct of the labor 
movement. Even the Roman Church, through an encycli- 
cal of Leo XIII in 1878, attacked "that sort of men who, 
under the motley and all but barbarous terms and titles of 
Socialists, Communists, and Nihilists, are spread abroad 
throughout the world and, bound intimately together in 
baneful alliance, . . . strive to carry out their purpose . . . 
of uprooting the foundations of civilized society at lai^e." 


"It is a good sign," commented Lyman Abbott in the 
Christian Union, "that the Church of Christ, both Protes- 
tant and Roman, is turning its attention to the problems of 
social and political life." American society had ahead of it 
a long period of education and study before it could under- 
stand the appeal of the workers or readjust its government 
to the needs of modem life. 


A clear, running view of the problems of peace may be found in Harper* s 
Weekly, the Nation, the Christian Union, and the Independent, all of which 
were conducted through these years with intelligence and information. 
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Century of Dishonor (1881), gives a sentimental and 
sympathetic view of the Indian problem, which may be checked by Nel- 
son A. Miles, Serving the Republic (1911), O. O. Howard, Net Perci 
Joseph, An Account of his Ancestors, his Lands, his Confederates, his Ene- 
mies, his Murders, his War, his Pursuit and Capture (1881), and F. L. 
Paxson, Last American Frontier (19 10). A. L. Haydon, Riders of the 
Plains (1910), pictures the Canadian Indian problem. The strikes are 
described in detail in volume viii of Rhodes, who follows J. A. Dacus, 
Annals of the Great Strikes in the United States (1878); and there is useful 
material in John R. Commons (ed.). Documentary History of American In- 
dustrial Society ( 19 10- 1 1 ) . A literary sensation was created by the anony- 
mous novel Democracy (1880), whose authorship was later avowed by 
Henry Adams and his friends; The Bread-Winners (iSS^) wsls also anony- 
mous and revealed the reactions of contemporary society to the labor 
movement. It was later conceded to be the work of John Hay. 



The genuine spirit of America is elusive in the black days 
of financial stress and moral discontent that extended from 
the panic of 1873 until after the railroad strikes of 1877. 
The historian turns in vain to any single set of actors to 
reveal it. Astor, Stewart, and Vanderbilt, dying within 
a few months of each other and leaving their millions to 
self-conscious heirs, are but partly representative of their 
contemporaries. The statesmen of the day, bewildered 
by the new ethical standards that arose to vex them, reveal 
few elements of leadership. The universities, struggling 
to acclimate a new ideal within a medieval shell, did not 
yet touch the masses of the people; and Eastern men of 
letters, whose leaders were about sung out, could rarely get 
their heads above the confusion of the present. Too high 
or too low, each of these groups failed to reveal the spirit 
of the nation as it entered upon its second century of in- 
dependence, but there was a spirit, none the less, conscious 
and clear of vision, and gathering up itself for a new attack 
on life. Its records are in a literature that emerged from 
this period of transition, and in none of its figures was the 
embodiment fuller or finer than in Samuel Langhome Clem- 
ens (Mark Twain), writing at leisure in his quaint octagonal 
study on a knoll at Quarry Farm, and putting on paper in 
the summer of 1874 the first draft of Tom Sawyer and Life 
on the Mississippi, 

The pessimism of James Russell Lowell and Edwin Law- 
rence Godkin and their doubts as to the success of democ- 
Literary racy Were inspired by their realization that all 
periodicals America was not like New England and were 
intensified by ideas from the West and South that looked to 
them like repudiation and d.ecay. The Atlantic Monthly y 
founded in 1857, had become, full-blown, the literary ve- 


hide of New England men of letters. There had been 
nothing like it in the past, and it had no rival. Its stand- 
ards were those of the best intelligence the United States 
possessed, but its circulation, like that of the New York 
Nation, hardly reached beyond the acquaintances of its 
contributors. Lowell edited it at first, then Fields, and 
Howells, and in 1880 Thomas Bailey Aldrich took it in 
hand. Less literary, but more lively, its rival. Harper's 
Monthly, shared with it in the later seventies the leadership 
in American letters. The field was enlarged when in 1881 
the old Scribner's Monthly became the Century Magazine 
imder the editorship of Dr. J. G. Holland, and then of 
Richard Watson Gilder and Robert Underwood Johnson, 
whose inspiration sustained the new periodical for forty 
years. Scribner's itself was revived in 1886 to complete the 

The broadening of public taste, revealed by the literary 
periodicals that it supported, called soon for literary gossip 
as well as literature. The Dial was founded in Chicago in 
1880, to purvey this gossip. The Critic began a year later 
with its office close to the centers of literary information in 
the E^t. The Book-Buyer, revived in 1884, was some- 
thing more than a trade journal, and catered to the same 
new interest, while in due time Current Literature (1888) and 
the Bookman (1895) broadened and intensified the field. 

American literature in the century just ended was lim- 
ited in its appeal and its accomplishment, but '*the only 
position that has ever been acknowledged cheerfully by the 
American people,'* as some one wrote in the Atlantic in 188 1, 
"has been the small circle of first-class historians, poets, 
and scientists, Prescott, Motley, Ticknor, Agassiz, Bryant, 
Longfellow. ..." The spirit of democracy tended to rec- 
ognize an intellectual aristocracy even if it refrained from 
reading all its works, but the aristocracy was now one of 
old men with a gap in years between them and the oncom- 
ing generation. 

The contrast between the old and the new in letters was 
so sharp at times as to be embarrassing. A dinner given 


to Whittier on his seventieth birthday in 1877 by the 
Whittier Atlantic Monthly brought together the literary 
dinner family of that periodical in the service of com- 

radeship and letters. On this occasion the venerable Ralph 
Waldo Emerson was there, and the dean of American poets, 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, as well as the sprightly Oli- 
ver Wendell Holmes. James Russell Lowell would prob- 
ably have been present had not Hayes sent him to Madrid as 
Minister in accordance with the American tradition that 
diplomacy is one of the functions of men of letters. The 
speeches at the banquet were full of reminiscence over the 
glories of the past, until a false note uttered by Mark Twain 
brought dismay to both diners and speaker. 

With the modesty that was always mingled with his 
naive and pleasant vanities, Clemens felt that his in vita- 
Mark tion to the Whittier banquet marked his recog- 
Twain nition by the East. He prepared with great 
pains and long premeditation a speech in which he placed 
himself in a miner's cabin in the Sierras and introduced the 
words of Holmes as well as those of Emerson and Longfellow 
into the mouths of uncouth mountain vagabonds. In his 
later years he republished the address, reverting to his 
earlier belief that it was both humorous and appropriate, 
but when he delivered it in Boston on December 17, 1877, it 
was received with a silence growing colder and more deadly 
every minute, as his audience resented what seemed to be 
deliberate insult to the dignity and good taste of its leaders. 
He went home in dismay that was lightened only by the 
fact that the immediate victims of his ill-timed humor 
either failed to hear it or were themselves more generous 
than their associates. To the end of his life he never knew 
the difference between humor that was in good taste and 
humor that was unprintable, and only the scrupulous edit- 
ing of his wife saved him from himself. 

Mark Twain was in 1877 just on the verge of recognition 
from America, with the Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) 
as his newest work, and with an English success that con- 
vinced New England of his importance. There is no truer 



description of the great plains and mining camps in the last 
decade before the advent of the railroad than he wrote in 
Roughing It (1872). His travels carried him to Europe, 
while European adventures were still novel, and The Inno- 
cents Abroad (1869) and A Tramp Abroad (1880) brought 
him an expanding circle of readers who knew they liked him, 
but were not sure that he was literature. The vital humor 
of Jim Smiley and his Jumping Frog (1865) continued to 
inspire his later writings, as well as his lectures on the 
lyceum circuit. Like the writers of the older generation, 
he told his story to audiences over all the country, and in 
1872 he followed Artemus Ward to London, where his suc- 
cess was instant. New England was slow to admit him 
within its dignified circle. "The literary theories we ac- 
cepted were New England theories," wrote Howells, who 
sat at an Atlantic desk after 1866; "the criticism we valued 
was New England criticism, or, more strictly speaking, 
Boston theories, Boston criticism." 

Whittier and his contemporaries had done their work, 
but it was not until the middle of the following decade 
that America recognized their successors. By The new 
the time E. C. Stedman wrote his '* Twilight of ^*^ 
the Poets" (1885) for the Century, new names had risen to 
the head of the American list, while the public was finding 
enjoyment in a wider range of letters. The first fifteen 
names on a list of immortals compiled by the Critic and 
Good Literature in 1884 included only four of the older group: 
Holmes, Lowell, Whittier, and the historian Bancroft, who 
was now in his old age revising his monumental History of 
the United States and admitting to his intimacy the young 
men who were to be leaders in Washington letters in the 
next generation: Hay, Henry Adams, Clarence King, and 

The remaining names of the first fifteen were Howells, 
Curtis, Aldrich, Harte, Stedman, White, Hale, Cable, 
James, Clemens, and Warner. 

The men whose writings have since been accepted as the 
most expressive of the American character were recognized 


by their contemporaries as their work appeared. Henry 
James, with The American (1876), stepped at once into 
leadership as an exponent **of contemporary American life 
in fiction," and held the position until his death. William 
Dean Howells, who stood above him on the Critic's list of 
1884, was gaining power as he used it in The Lady of the 
Aroostook (1879) and A Modern Instance (1882), until his 
Rise of Silas Lapham (1885) became perhaps the most dis- 
tinctive portrait of Eastern society in the decade. Clemens 
was accepted without question as the years advanced. Tom 
Sawyer was followed by its companion tale, The Adven- 
tures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), which the Athenceum subse- 
quently described as "one of the six greatest books ever 
written in America." His powers were steadily broaden- 
ing, and The Prince and the Pauper (1881) and The Personal 
Recollections of Joan of Arc (1895) revealed him in his 
broader sympathies, after he had outgrown the rdle of the 
professional humorist. 

The themes of the American men of letters ran to por- 
traiture and local color. ** There is nothing definite in 
Transition American society for the dramatist to get hold 
in literature ^f ^ » » g^ij ^ writer in the A tlantic in 1 88 1 , who had 

in mind the social uniformity dominant in the old American 
society. The lack of caste as a motive in fiction was filled 
in part by the appearance of the American girl as a novel 
species, untrammeled by social limitations and breezy with 
the expansiveness of the open country. Howells and Henry 
James used her with freedom, and the illustrators made out 
of her a definite literary type. The amazing popularity of 
General Lew Wallace's Ben Hur (1880) and F. Marion 
Crawford's Mr. Isaacs (1882) revealed the catholic tastes 
of a widening reading public. 

The sharp change in the course of literary production 
was nowhere clearer than in literature for children. The 
moral tracts of the mid-century and the sensational ro- 
mances which Ned Buntline manufactured and Nick Carter 
continued were gradually displaced by literature of a dif- 
ferent stripe. Howard Pyle brought out The Merry Ad^ 


ventures of Robin Hood (1883), popularizing a folk-lore and 
setting a new standard with his own illustrations. Frances 
Hodgson Burnett's Little Lord FaunUeroy (1886) added a 
new child to the personages of fiction. St. Nicholas (1873) 
and Harper's Young People (1879) began to produce much 
of the new children's literature in periodical form, and were 
accepted in England nearly as freely as at home. 

A search for local color carried Mark Twain to the west- 
ern fringe of civilization, where Bret Harte found treasures 
of a similar character, and where Helen Hunt "Ethiopio- 
Jackson found the materials for Ramona (1884). "^**"*" 
The South was rediscovered at the same time and an ** ethio- 
piomania" ran its course through the early eighties, as 
negro songs and music had their day. The cult expressed 
itself sometimes in doggerel : 

" Piano put away 

In de garret for to stay; 
De banjo am de music dat de gals am crazed about. 

De songs dat now dey choose 

Am 'spired by de colored muse, 
An' de ole kind o* poeckry am all played out." 

Sometimes it was revealed in the popularity of negro play- 
ers and of white actors masquerading as such. Haverly's 
Mastodon Minstrels, with forty men in the cast, held the 
stage at Drury Lane in London in 1884, forty years after 
the first minstrel troupes had made their appearance, and 
serious students of negro lore took the trouble to debate 
in public whether the banjo was or was not the negro's in- 

Joel Chandler Harris brought the negroes into letters 
on a higher plane when he collected their folk-lore in Unde 
Remus ^ His Songs and Sayings (1880). His popularity 
was shared by George W. Cable, whose Grandissimes (1880) 
portrayed the Creole life in old New Orleans. Cable soon 
had the descendants of the Creoles buzzing around his ears, 
but the portrait seemed true to life to the rest of the 
country, and readings by the author were welcome every- 
where. Judge Albion W. Tourg6e's A FooVs Errand (1880) 


gave a less benevolent view of Southern life than Harris and 
Cable did, and was used as a campaign document against 
the mild treatment of the South begun by President Hayes. 

America continued to be entertained by dialect litera- 
ture such as Lowell had exploited long since in the Biglow 
Dialect Papers, and by professional humorists like Pe- 

literature troleum V. Nasby and Artemus Ward. James 
Whitcomb Riley stopped painting signs in Logansport and 
gave up his travels with a patent medicine troupe, and 
brought out in 1884 The Old Swimmin' Hole, and Seven 
More Poems. He soon began a long career upon the plat- 
form reading his dialect verse. In 1886 he traveled in 
company with Edgar Wilson (Bill) Nye, founder of the 
Laramie Boomerang (1881), and one of the most successful 

The taste of the eighties was the product of the common 
schools inspired somewhat by the literary reputations of 
Provincial- New England and led here and there by grad- 
*^™ uates of the aspiring new colleges. It made up 

in avidity what it lacked in discrimination and standards. 
When Richardson built Trinity Church in Boston for the 
congregation of Phillips Brooks, his adaptation of the roman- 
esque was imitated west to the Pacific. There was still 
enough provincialism for the United States to be keenly 
sensitive to what Europe thought about it. James Bryce 
since the early seventies had been a repeated and welcome 
visitor as he gathered his materials for the American Com- 
monwealth (1888). Thomas Huxley found ready audiences 
as he discussed ** The Evidences of Evolution " on his Ameri- 
can trip of 1876. Herbert Spencer, whose Principles of 
Sociology (1876) invented the science of that name, was 
welcomed in 1882. Matthew Arnold, in 1883, found "the 
blaring publicity" of New York beyond his expectations, 
but was grateful for *'the kindness and good-will of every- 
body." The English historian Edward A. Freeman wrote 
Some Impressions of the United States (1883), after a lectur- 
ing trip in 1 88 1. He spoke at Lowell Institute in Boston, a 
century after the surrender at Yorktown, upon the English 


people in their three homes : Germany, Britain, and America; 
and gained wide notoriety a little later through his sugges- 
tion that "this would be a grand land if every Irishman 
would kill a negro, and be hanged for it." American curi- 
osity was wide open, and there was a welcome even for 
Oscar Wilde, who lectured in 1882 on the English renascence 
in **a fine aesthetic jargon . . . knee breeches, pumps, a 
white waistcoat, and white silk stockings." 

The self-consciousness that led the United States to be in- 
terested in what others thought of it evoked a new curiosity 
as to the meaning of American history. The Historical 
Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 ^*'»"8 
was part of a series of patriotic centennials that continued 
until, in 1889, the one-hundredth anniversary of the inaugu- 
ration of Washington was celebrated. The early years of 
this period brought out a flood of oratory on the Revolution, 
and Bancroft revised his History of the United States in a cen- 
tennial edition. Interest was turned to other aspects of 
American history. In one field Francis Parkman was bring- 
ing to a conclusion his studies on the French in America 
and their struggle with the English in the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Henry Adams, lifting history to a new level of in- 
struction at Harvard in the seventies and studying the lives 
of Albert Gallatin and John Randolph, settled down in the 
eighties to his nine-volume History of the United States 
during the Administrations of Jefferson and Madison (1889- 
91). In 1883 the first two volumes of the History of the 
People of the United States appeared. The author, John 
Bach McMaster, an obscure instructor in engineering at 
Princeton Collie, became immediately the holder at the 
University of Pennsylvania of one of the earliest chairs in 
American history to be created, and started in the United 
States a school of historians who saw the realities of history 
in the whole life of the people rather than in the doings of 
kings and courts. In the autumn of 1884 a group of stu- 
dents interested in the historical revival, led by Herbert B. 
Adams, of Johns Hopkins University, and Andrew D. White, 
organized the American Historical Association, The next 


year a Cleveland business man, James Ford Rhodes, who 
had already made himself financially independent, turned 
his affairs over to his brother-in-law, Marcus A. Hanna, and 
set out to write the story of the Civil War under the title 
A History of the United States Since the Compromise 0/1850. 
The frontier of history was pushed down through the 
nineteenth century under the new impulse. Its quality rose 
from the level of antiquarianism and the defense of democ- 
racy, that inspired most of the writings before the Civil 
War, and bore the impress of the higher scholarship of the 
graduate seminary at Johns Hopkins and the superior teach- 
ing elsewhere. A treatise on Congressional Government 
(1885), by Woodrow Wilson, one of the Johns Hopkins 
students, received immediate recognition. Another of the 
group carried the standards of scholarship into the West. 
Frederick Jackson Turner produced in Wisconsin in 1893 
his essay on the Significance qj the Frontier in American 
History with such compelling logic as to force a complete 
restatement of the facts in American history in the next 


The works cited above in the text constitute the best bibliography for 
this chapter. M. A. De Wolfe Howe, The Atlantic Monthly and Its Makers 
(1918), throws light on the Atlantic group. Sara Norton and M. A. 
De Wolfe Howe, Letters of Charles Eliot Norton (1913), and Norton's Let- 
ters of James Russell Lowell (1894), are also of great value. Gustav Pollak, 
Fifty Years of American Idealism (1915), traces the story of the New York 
Nation, George Haven Putnam, Memories of a Publisher (1915), and J. H. 
Harper, The House of Harper; A Century of Publishing in Franklin Square 
(1912), are useful special works. Henry Watterson, Marse Henry (1919), 
is the autobiography of the most picturesque and the last survivor of the 
great journalists of the seventies. Albert Bigelow Paine, Life of Mark 
Twain (1912), has few equals in American biography. Compare also 
Julia C. Harris, Life and Letters of Joel Chandler Harris (19 18). 



"Mark Twain inflicted indigestion on Boston," said the 
Chicago Inter-Ocean, in comment upon his speech at the 
Whittier dinner, * ' and the silver dollar has driven silver and 
New York to almost hopeless lunacy." The in- fi^eenb^ks 
vasion of the West in the fields of letters and history was 
paralleled by an eruption of border problems that demanded 
adjustment from the party leaders. Among these the 
emergence of a silver issue attracted the attention of Con- 
gress in 1877 and 1878. 

The American silver dollar was in truth the ** dollar of our 
daddies" in 1878. It had rarely been seen in circulation 
since Jackson's act in 1834 established its relative weight, or 
coinage ratio, at sixteen to one with gold. The original at- 
tempt of Hamilton in his financial report of 179 1 to establish 
a bimetallic money, in which two metallic coins should cir- 
culate at the same value, was frustrated by the inability 
of the two metals selected, gold and silver, to maintain an 
unchanging commercial ratio with each other. Hamilton 
provided for their coinage at the ratio of fifteen to one, at 
which weights the gold dollar was a few cents more valuable 
than the silver dollar, and was speedily withdrawn from cir- 
culation. The ancient Gresham law, to the effect that bad 
money drives out good, or, otherwise stated, that when two 
moneys are in existence with the same nominal value, but 
with different intrinsic value, the more valuable will be 
hoarded, and the less valuable will remain in circulation and 
fix the value of the coin, was fully borne out by the experi- 
ence of the United States under both Hamilton's law and 

The change of coinage ratio to sixteen to one in 1834 was 
designed to bring it closer to the commercial ratio in order 
to keep both metals in simultaneous circulation. The 


result was merely to change the inequality. The silver 
dollar now became more valuable than its gold associate, 
and disappeared from use. Subsidiary coins of the value 
of fifty cents or less were deliberately made light weight in 
1853, but being issued only as they were bought at par from 
the Treasury did not displace the gold in circulation. The 
American half-dollar was a favorite coin thereafter, because 
of the unreliability of bank-notes and the inconvenience of 
handling small gold coins, but it was possible to grow to 
manhood before the Civil War without ever seeing a silver 
dollar of American coinage. 

The Gresham law, which haJ driven gold out of circula- 
tion before 1834 and silver after that date, disposed of both 
metals early in the Civil War. The issuance of greenbacks 
by the United States was perhaps a necessary measure to 
enlarge the currency to meet the war demands upon it, but 
the legal-tender quality given to the greenbacks, which 
forced the creditor to accept them when offered to him by 
his debtor, resulted in both a rise of prices and a premium 
upon gold. The gold dollar passed out of circulation in a 
few days, the cheaper subsidiary silver passed out a little 
later, and the currency of the United States went upon a 
paper basis with small notes or ''shin-plasters," postage 
stamps, and private tokens serving as small change. It 
was still upon this paper basis when Hayes was inaugu- 
rated and pledged himself to restore the financial credit of 
the United States. 

In February, 1873, when no coins had been in circulation 
for a dozen years, and few silver dollars for nearly forty, 
Decline in Congress revised its coinage laws, and the silver 
^^^^ dollar, although not losing its legal standing, was 

dropped from the list of coins to be manufactured freely at 
the mint upon the presentation of bullion. The price of 
silver was still above $1 .2929 per ounce, at which commer- 
cial rate the gold and silver dollars would have been equal 
in value. In later years Senator Stewart of Nevada per- 
suaded himself that the law '*was conceived for the sole 
purpose of clandestinely omitting the silver dq\lax from th^ 


list of coins," and Henry Demarest Lloyd, writing editorials 
for the Chicago Tribune, came to believe that it was "done 
secretly and stealthily to the profound ignorance of those 
who voted for it, and of the President who approved it." 
The act, however, had been pending in Congress for several 
sessions, with its content clear to any one who chose to read, 
and would never have been denounced as the ** crime of 
1873 " if the price of silver had not declined sharply in that 
year, changing thereby the relative value of the two dollars 
and bringing loss to every one interested in the production of 

The decline in the value of silver beginning about 1873 
was due to the same complex of causes that decreased the 
price of nearly all commodities in the last third of the nine- 
teenth century. The extension of railroads into the West 
made it easier to reach the silver mines. The output of the 
Comstock lode in Nevada, which had been laboriously 
hauled to San Francisco under guard, was able to get to 
market by rail after 1 869. New discoveries in chemistry and 
metallurgy and better practice in mining engineering came 
from the European laboratories and the American schools of 
technology. They tended to reduce the cost of extracting sil- 
ver from the ore and brought into easy commercial use low 
grade and refractory ores hitherto of little value. The price 
of silver fell from normal forces affecting its cost of produc- 
tion. The fall was hastened by a lessening necessity for its 
use in commerce. Bank-checks and clearing-houses made 
it possible to transact much business without a physical 
transfer of money, while gold was less bulky and more con- 
venient than silver for the settlement of lai^e accounts. 

The decline in the value of silver was further accelerated 
by the discovery and development of new deposits. Dur- 
ing the Civil War there was a succession of min- Mjnjng 
ing booms that dotted the inland empire with booms and 
transient camps, some of which became the foun- 
dations for the new Territories of Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, 
Idaho, and Montana. Nevada was admitted to the Union 
in 1864 and Colorado followed twelve years later. In 1868, 


as a consequence of the mining booms, Congress was able to 
complete the territorial subdivision of the United States by 
the organization of Wyoming, leaving only one line still to be 
drawn upon the map of the United States, the boundary 
between North and South Dakota. 

Dakota Territory, created in 1861 and reshaped in the 
next few years, was conceived as an agricultural community, 
with a farming population in its southeast corner. Its wheat 
lands in the valley of the Red River of the North were as 
yet only a promise, since there was no railroad to take the 
wheat to its market. The western half of Dakota was an 
Indian country in which in 1868 the Sioux Indians were as- 
signed apermanent home. In the Black Hills at the heart of 
the Sioux reserve, in the southwest comer of the Territory, 
gold and silver were found in 1875, and in 1876 an army of 
prospectors overran the reservation. From Bismarck on 
the upper Missouri, where a railroad had arrived in 1873, 
and from Fort Pierre and Yankton, farther down the river, 
the miners followed routes to the Black Hills published by the 
War Department. An Indian outbreak and the massacre 
of Custer's men on the Little Big Horn was a consequence of 
the attrition between the races. The boundaries of the re- 
serve were rearranged, and the towns of Deadwood, Custer, 
and Rapid City became the centers of an active mining com- 
munity in 1877. The stage-coaches to Deadwood attracted 
much of the romantic interest that had gathered around the 
overland stages to California two decades earlier, and the 
flood of precious metal was swollen by the output of the 
mines. A bill to establish a Territory of Lincoln in the Black 
Hills region, with lands cut away from Dakota, Montana, 
and Wyoming, was recommended for passage in the Sen- 
ate in 1878. The bonanza wheat farms of the Red River 
Valley aroused the simultaneous discussion of a Territory 
of Pembina. 

New mines were discovered in Colorado to increase still 
further the production of silver. While the Atchison, 
Topeka, and Santa F6 was contesting with the Denver and 
Rio Grande the right to the exclusive use of the Royal Gorge 


for a railroad extending up the Arkansas River above 
Pueblo, new deposits were uncovered near the headwaters 
of that stream, and Leadville began to ship both ore and 
bullion to the world. By 1878 there was a population of 
20,000 in the new silver camp, upsetting the political balance 
of Colorado and stimulating the demand for legislation to 
avert the consequences of the falling price of silver. 

The silver dollar had been dropped from the coinage list* 
only a few months when a demand appeared in the Western 
States to put it back and restore the free coinage of silver 
at the old ratio. In all of the mining States the demand was 
repeated, and men who, like Senator Stewart, had supported 
the Act of 1873 discovered now that it had been a crime. 
Bills to restore free silver were added to the group of financial 
measures looking toward the resumption of specie payments 
and the refunding of the Civil War debt, and were pressed 
insistently upon Congress. At the commercial rate existing 
at the end of 1877, it was possible to buy enough silver for a 
silver dollar for about ninety-three cents, and the words 
"honest money" and ''sound money" had come to be used 
by persons who believed that the free coinage of silver 
dollars would bring Gresham's law into operation, and bring 
a cheap dollar into circulation, with the resulting loss to 
every one who was forced to receive it. ** There seems to be 
a general agreement among monied classes that its [the free 
silver bill's] intent is dishonest," said the Commercial and 
Financial Chronicle. A newspaper poet in Norwich wrote: 

"Now, Messrs. Congressmen, be just, 
Throw off the veil of thin pretense; 
Stamp on the lie — 'In God we trust 
For the remaining seven cents.' 

f tf 

Richard Parks Bland, a Missouri Congressman, whose 
experience embraced that of the depressed South, the debtor 
frontier, and the silver mining districts, carried a Bland- 
bill for the resumption of free silver coinage at ^''*^" ^ 
the old ratio through the House of Representa- 
tives in 1877. The majority of the House was Democratic, 
but the vote was bi-partisan, as it was in the Senate, 


where the majority was Republican. In the upper house 
Senator Allison of Iowa procured the adoption of an amend- 
ment limiting the character of the bill. As the Bland- 
Allison Act finally passed, it directed the Secretary of the 
Treasury to buy each month from two million dollars' worth 
to four million dollars' worth of silver and to coin it into 
standard silver dollars which should have the quality of legal 

The Bland-Allison Act ran counter to the financial policy 
of President Hayes and Secretary Sherman, who believed 
that it contained the elements of repudiation, since it was a 
deliberate action to lower the value of the standard dollar. 
Hayes adhered to his pledge to uphold the financial credit 
of the nation. He vetoed the law, but Congress passed it 
over his veto, February 28, 1878, by a sweeping bi-partisan 
majority. The influence of the silver States was behind the 
law as a measure of protection, and was reenforced by the 
conscious desire of the debtor West and South for more and 
cheaper money. 

The legal-tender greenbacks of the Civil War constituted 
the basis of American currency at the close of the struggle 
and became the emblem of a movement that aflFected both 
great parties for twenty years after 1865. At the close of 
the Civil War the greenbacks were far below par, the pre- 
mium on gold standing at 150 on the day of Lee's surrender, 
and the greenback dollar worth accordingly only sixty- 
seven cents in gold. The greenbacks issued by the Govern- 
ment at par had constituted a forced loan to the extent of 
nearly four hundred and fifty million dollars, and as they de- 
preciated in value they worked a confiscation of property 
against every holder in whose hands their value declined. 
As the Treasury undertook to redeem the public faith and 
get rid of the greenbacks, their value rose. By June, 1868, 
they were worth seventy-one cents on the dollar. Their 
rise impressed upon every person who was in debt the fact 
that the real value of his debt was increased to that extent. 
The whole South was depressed with the debt and bank- 
ruptcy that the Civil War produced and Reconstruction in- 

SPECIE PAYME^^^S, 1879 41 

creased. The Northwestern States were equally in debt, 
due to their speculative investments in reclaiming a new 
frontier and increasing the improvements on their old prop- 
erty. A demand that the redemption of the greenbacks be 
discontinued originated in the Northwest and was known 
as the **Ohio idea." Congress yielded to the pressure and 
forbade further withdrawals of the greenbacks in 1868, while 
the Democratic Party in its national convention of that 
year adopted substantially a greenback plank. 

Throughout the two administrations of General Grant 
the greenback movement was strongly supported by poli- 
ticians in both parties, and the panic of 1873, Resump- 
with the lean financial years that followed it, ^»<>nAct 
filled the ranks of the discontented. An inflation bill for 
increasing the volume of greenbacks in circulation passed 
both houses of Congress in 1874, but was blocked by Grant's 
veto. The next year John Sherman, Senator from Ohio 
and chairman of the Committee on Finance, was the fa- 
ther of a bill for the resumption of specie payments, which 
became a law January 14, 1875. The date set for resump- 
tion was January i, 1879, and meanwhile the Secretary of 
the Treasury was directed to accumulate a fund of gold to 
make resumption possible. The financial doctors disagreed 
as to the size of the fund necessary, but the Secretary was 
given power to accumulate the necessary amount by bor- 
rowing or otherwise. The promise of resumption improved 
the credit of the United States and raised the value of the 
greenbacks in consequence so that they were worth eighty- 
nine cents in January, 1875, and ninety-six cents two years 
later, when Hayes became President in 1877 and appointed 
Senator Sherman Secretary of the Treasury. 

The increasing certainty that resumption was likely to 
be accomplished led the Greenbackers to more aggressive 
action. They demanded that the redemption of Greenback 
the greenbacks be stopped, and that all the bonds ^^^^ 
of the Civil War that were described in the legislation as 
"payable in lawful money of the United States" should 
be redeemed in an additional issue of greenbacks, which 


would have the double advantage of increasing the green- 
backs in circulation and so helping the debtor, and of get- 
ting rid of the public debt without raising by taxation the 
funds to satisfy it. The Greenback National Party placed 
a ticket in the field in 1876, headed by Peter Cooper and 
General Sam F. Carey, and pledged to ** financial reform 
and industrial emancipation." **To this work — to help- 
ing care for the Rag Baby, as the gold gamblers sneeringly 
term the child of war and the saviour of the country, till it 
reaches Washington and drives the money-changers from 
the Temple of Liberty, we pledge the support of this paper," 
wrote the editor of Pofneroy*s Democrat, one of the free- 
lance journals supporting the new third party. 

The strikes of 1877 brought new hopes to the leaders of 
the Greenback Party, who glimpsed a chance to unite the 
discontented elements of labor to the discontented farmers, 
and to produce as a result an agrarian-industrial party of 
reform, to fight the ** bloated, moneyed aristocracy." The 
Greenback vote in 1876 was unimportant, but here and 
there in Maine, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin local contro- 
versies made it possible for the Greenback Party to control 
the balance of power in 1877. Peter Cooper and Wendell 
Phillips joined in the call for a national convention to be 
held at Toledo February 22, 1878, to blend the two move- 
ments into a new party for which they chose the name 
** National." ** Financial theories are as plenty as black- 
berries among delegates, and nearly every man has a pet 
scheme for the salvation of the country," wrote the Cin- 
cinnati Commercial of the convention. The delegates were 
described as **the rattle-brained publicists at Toledo" by 
the New York Tribune, which went on to say that ** the gush 
of woman suffragists, the drivel of prairie financiers, and 
the rant of working-men's demagogues all tend to promote 
a spirit of pessimism on this side of the Atlantic." Edito- 
rials on the coming party, inspired by a remembrance of the 
commune at Paris and the strikes of 1877, called it ** com- 
munism"; but in the elections of 1878 the aggregate of dis- 
contented votes for Greenback C2«\di4?^tes in the s^VQral 


States ran beyond a million, and General Benjamin F. 
Butler, of Massachusetts, always politically on the make, 
avowed a willingness to become the standard-bearer of the 
new National Labor-Greenback Party. 

While the sections and classes were struggling with the 
panaceas for reform, President Hayes was confronting the 
difficulty of doing business with an unsympa- Election 
thetic Congress. His first steps in organizing frauds 
his government alienated the leaders of his own party, 
while the House of Representatives was controlled by the 
Democrats with Samuel J. Randall, of Pennsylvania, as 
Speaker. The Democratic claim that Hayes was President 
by fraud was made more credible by the admissions of 
members of his own party. William E. Chandler, a mem- 
ber of the Republican National Committee, openly at- 
tacked the title of Hayes in a public letter to New Hamp- 
shire Republicans in December, 1877. The following May, 
Clarkson N. Potter, of New York, became chairman of a 
House conunittee that investigated the alleged frauds. The 
Democratic hopes that the investigation would uncover 
reasons for voiding the election and unseating Hayes were 
lessened as facts were accumulated by the Potter com- 
mittee, and the Matthews committee that the Senate 
created simultaneously. The Western Union Telegraph 
Company was forced to submit its file of messages for ex- 
amination, with the result that cipher dispatches were dis- 
covered, sent from Tilden*s own house to Southern Demo- 
crats. These dispatches were deciphered by the New York 
Tribune and revealed an attempt on the part of some one 
to buy enough Hayes electors to seat Tilden. The charge 
of fraud became a boomerang against the Democrats, and 
Hayes, by his steadiness under attack and his adherence to 
his campaign pledges, gained increasing respect from the 
country at large. 

The forces of discontent that gave birth to the National 
Party supported the silver miners' movement for free silver, 
which would have the same tendency as the greenbacks to 
increase the volume of money and lower its value. The 


overwhelming majorities by which the Bland-Allison Act 
became a law showed the wide distribution of the forces of 
inflation, but had no effect upon a President who was al- 
ready used to working without the approval of either his 
own party leaders or the opposition. Secretary Sherman 
continued to assemble his gold reserve to cover the redemp- 
tion of the greenbacks. The international conference on 
silver made mandatory by the Bland-Allison Act was held 
in Paris in August, 1878, and was entirely fruitless. The 
advances of the American delegation in favor of an inter- 
national agreement upon a bimetallic ratio were received 
with courtesy, but without result. Europe was too defi- 
nitely pledged to the gold standard to be affected by Ameri- 
can pressure to the contrary. 

The price of greenbacks and the credit of the United 
States continued to rise with the preparations for re- 
Resump- sumption. In December, 1878, the greenbacks 
**°" reached par, and throughout the country there 

were evidences of universal prosperity instead of the calam- 
ity that the Greenbackers had foretold. On January 2, 
1879, the New York sub-treasury began to exchange gold 
for greenbacks on demand, with a reserve of $133,508,000 
in coin to control the $346,681,016 outstanding greenbacks. 
Resumption came without a shock, and the first day's ex- 
perience indicated the correctness of Horace Greeley's view 
that "the way to resume is to resume." Instead of a long 
line of greenback-holders anxious for the redemption of their 
paper, holders of gold brought their metal in to exchange it 
for greenbacks. No one wanted gold when he was sure he 
could get it, nor was he willing to exchange any money of 
the United States for less than par. When Secretary Sher- 
man wrote his annual report in November, 1879, after ten 
months of resumption, he had redeemed only $11,256,000 
in notes, but had increased the coin reserve in the Treas- 
ury to $225,000,000. 



Murray S. Wildman, Money Inflation in the United States (1905), gives 
an excellent analysis of the chronic tendency of the frontier toward infla- 
tion. Wesley C. Mitchell, History of the Greenbacks (1903), is the best book 
on its subject, while Davis R. Dewey, Financial History of the United 
States, is in its numerous editions an almost ideal textbook on that subject 
Fred E. Haynes, James Bird Weaver (19 19), gives a picture of the green- 
back movement in the Middle West, which may be supplemented some- 
what by the thin compilation, W. Byars (ed.). Richard Parks Bland (1900). 
The papers of Ignatius Donnelly are in the Minnesota State Historical 
Society, while those of L. H. (Calamity) Weller are in the Wisconsin State 
Historical Society. Ellis P. Oberholtzer, Jay Cooke, the Financier of the 
Civil War (1907), provides an admirable background for this period of 
financial history. 



The independent members of the Republican Party ex- 
erted a continuous influence after 1872, and by their threat 
Republican to repeat the secession of that year brought pres- 
factions gy^g ^.Q j^gg^f upon the professional rulers of th:^ 

party. The widespread corruption in national and local 
administrations, revealed or suggested by the exploits of 
Tweed, the gold conspiracy of Gould and Fisk, the Credit 
Mobilier scandal, the whiskey ring, and the salary grab, 
kept them resolved to struggle against the election of spoils- 
men to national office. In the spring of 1876 the meeting 
of the independents at the Fifth Avenue Hotel was a 
warning to the Republican Conventipn to be careful in its 
nomination. The selection of Hayes was acceptable to 
them, and his pledges to reform the national administra- 
tion followed by his appointment of Carl Schurz as Sec- 
retary of the Interior found favor in the ■ independent 

The main body of the Republicans were ** Stalwart" 
or "Half-Breed," according to their preference for leaders. 
Senator Roscoe Conkling was the most prominent of the 
Stalwart leaders, and included among his political intimates 
most of the men who had been identified with the two 
administrations of Grant. The Half-Breed faction com- 
monly avowed an interest in reform as opposed to the open 
cynicism of many of the Stalwarts. James G. Blaine, their 
most prominent leader, and John Sherman were less identi- 
fied with machine politics and more with the substance of 
government than most of the Stalwarts. Both groups 
were offensive to the independents, and both found reasons 
for an aversion to the political policies of Hayes, as the 
latter undertook to fulfill his pledge for good government. 

The anger of the party leaders at the structure of the 


Cabinet was intensified by an executive order issued in 
June, 1877, forbidding office-holders to take office- 
active share in party management. A bill to holders in 
hinder the collection of assessments upon office- ^ * ^^^ 
holders had been passed the summer before, but the new 
order struck at the best recognized fact in party organi- 
zation. **The decision is undoubtedly the forerunner of 
the most important new departure in modern politics,'* 
said the Chicago Tribune. Public officials everywhere held 
party offices as national committeemen or as members 
of the party organization in the States. The political ex- 
istence of many of these was tied up with the advantage 
they enjoyed from tJieir dual capacity, and the summer 
conventions were watched for evidence as to the effective- 
ness of the reform. **He will need the zealous support of 
all good men of both parties,'* said the New York Herald. 
In New York, Alonzo Cornell, chairman of the State Re- 
publican Committee, defied the order, and continued to 
hold on to his office as naval officer of the port of New York. 
In Wisconsin Colonel E. W. Keyes treated it with more 
respect and abdicated his State chairmanship rather than 
be displaced from the post-office at Madison. 

Public attention was directed to the New York Custom 
House by the insubordination of Cornell, and the knowl- 
edge that he and Chester A. Arthur, collector of Arthur and 
the port, were Stalwarts who stood high in the ^o"""®" 
councils of Senator Conkling. The Treasury Department, 
under whose administrative jurisdiction they fell, was in 
process of investigation by direction of Sherman, and was 
reported to be a nest of political appointees more interested 
in serving Stalwart policies than in earning the salaries they 
received. It was rumored that the President had deter- 
mined to displace both officials, and Senator Conkling hur- 
ried home from a European trip to dominate the New York 
Convention, and to fight the President. In December **we 
saw to it that the President's plan was foiled,** said Thomas 
C. Piatt, chief assistant of Conkling. The Senate refused 
to confirm the nominations of Theodore Roosevelt and 


L. B. Prince as successors to Arthur and Cornell, and the 
Stalwart officials continued at their posts until the close of 
the session in 1878, when Hayes summarily suspended them 
from office. Conkling denounced the suspension in fury 
as party treachery, but the Senate finally permitted the 
removal of the officers. 

The breach between Hayes and the Stalwarts was widened 
by the political martyrdom of Arthur and Cornell, but the 
independent Republicans were not drawn any closer to the 
President. In the Interior Department and the Treasury 
Schurz and Sherman were encouraged to make their ap- 
pointments on the basis of merit, but the President found 
appointive offices for Florida and Louisiana Republicans 
whose jobs had been lost when he withdrew the troops from 
the South, and he temporarily closed the breach in the 
party by sending Half-Breed members of his Cabinet to 
help the Conkling forces in the New York campaign of 1878. 
'* We shall not have a political millennium until the people 
want it" was the comment of Leslie's in 1877. The inde- 
pendents resented the President's inability to divorce him- 
self completely from politics, and the personal isolation of 
Hayes continued to the end of his administration. 

In September, 1879, General Ulysses S. Grant landed at 
San Francisco from his voyage around the world. His 
Return of arrival followed a long series of stories of state 
Grant receptions accorded him wherever he had gone. 

He was received not only with the honors of royalty due to 
an ex-President, but as the greatest soldier of his day. As 
he traveled east across the States, with public banquets 
and civic receptions at every stop, his popularity, tarnished 
when he left the White House, resumed its fullest luster. 
His former comrades in arms felt their political power for the 
first time seriously. The prolonged Democratic filibusters 
against paying the army and the enforcement of the law by 
federal troops increased the public's distrust of politicians 
and its regard for Grant. He formally completed his trip 
by a visit to Philadelphia on December 16, where he was 
entertained at the great celebration at the Union League 


under the direction of Senator Don Cameron, his former 
Secretary of War; and the next day Cameron, with the fame 
of Grant at its height, took up the reorganization of the Re- 
publican National Committee in order to make the renom- 
ination of Grant possible in 1880. "The reasons urged for 
the renomination of General Grant/' said Harper* s Weekly, 
*' are typified in a picture of a man on horseback withstand- 
ing a host of anarchists." 

The Republican National Committee, when it met in 
Washington December 17, 1879, was without a head, since 
Zachary Chandler, its former chairman, had recently died. 
The friends of Grant took advantage of the vacant Pennsyl- 
vania seat on the committee to bring in Cameron. William 
H. Kemble, the Pennsylvania member whom he replaced, 
the reputed author of the spoilsman's phrase, *' addition, 
division, and silence," was under indictment for bribery, 
growing out of the Pittsburgh riots of 1877. Cameron was 
elected chairman of the committee at once, and with the 
support of Conkling and Logan laid the plans to control the 
Chicago Convention in the following June. 

There was no thought of the renomination of Hayes to 
succeed himself. He had disclaimed a second term before 
starting on his first, and had not been under Nomina- 
pressure to reconsider his determination ; nor did tions of 
he give active support to any other aspirant for 
the nomination. Blaine and Sherman were both brought 
forward by their friends, Sherman believing that the nomina- 
tion was a fitting reward for his financial services, and Blaine 
stirring up the antipathies aroused against him in 1876 
when his similar aspirations had been impeded by scandals 
connected with his career as Speaker of the House of Repre- 

In the Chicago Convention Grant could have been nom- 
inated if it had been possible for the Stalwart leaders to hold 
•each State delegation to the unit rule. They contended 
that the majority of a delegation from any State had the 
right to determine the vote of the whole delegation a^ a unit. 
This claim was beaten on the floor of the convention after a 


persuasive speech against it by General James A. Garfield, 
Congressman and Senator -elect from Ohio, and floor man- 
ager for Sherman. With the unit rule beaten, Grant's 
** old guard" of 306 faithful delegates clung together in vain 
Neither Sherman nor Blaine could command a majority of 
the convention, and after a long deadlock Garfield was 
nominated for the presidency on the thirty-sixth ballot 

Having nominated Garfield, a Half Breed, the conven 
tion made overtures tor party unity by nominating Chester 
A. Arthur as Vice-President. Goldwin Smith thought that 
the victory of Garfield represented **the purer and better 
part of the republican party,'* but the proceedings of the 
convention indicate that the majority was inspired chiefly 
by the desire to win. ''We are not here, sir," said Flana- 
gan, of Texas, whom the Chicago Tribune described as 
possessing **a truthful and ingenuous mind," — *'We are 
not here, sir, for the purposes of providing offices for the 
democracy. . . . After we have won the race, as we will, 
we will give those who are entitled to positions office. 
What are we up here for?" 

A week after the Republican Convention the Greenback 
Party nominated James B. Weaver, of Iowa, for the presi- 
dency. The Chicago Tribune reporter, impressed perhaps 
by his recollection of Bamum's Greatest Show on Earth that 
had exhibited the preceding week on the lake front, called it 
a "side-show, and a funny one. ... It was an idiotic trin- 
ity, composed of Fiatists, Labor-Union Greenbackers, and 
foreign Communists, with Free-Lovers, Woman-Suffra^ists, 
and fanatics of every description." The Greenback Con- 
vention at least knew what it wanted, which was more than 
could be said of the Democratic Party, which was still with- 
out a recognized leader except Tilden, who lay under the 
suspicion aroused by the cipher dispatches. At Cincinnati 
later in the month, the Democrats selected General Win- 
field Scott Hancock, "the Democratic Trojan horse," for 
their candidate ; otherwise cynically described by the New 
York Sun as "a good man, weighing two hundred and fifty 


There was no clear issue separating the two major parties, 
and the nomination of each ticket was determined chiefly 
by party availability. In General Hancock the Election of 
Democratic Party sought to evade the Republi- ^^^^^^ 
can charge of continued disloyalty, and to enjoy the advan- 
tages accruing from the nomination of a military hero. The 
canvass was one of orthodox oratory and party intrigue. To- 
ward the end of October a letter was forged in the interests 
of the Democratic candidate and printed in the New York 
Truth. It purported to have been written by Garfield to a 
manufacturer named Morey favoring the employment of 
cheap Chinese labor throughout the West. It was widely 
used in spite of Garfield's denial of the fraud. The chair- 
man of the Democratic National Committee affirmed its au- 
thenticity for a time **Look out for Roorbacks" was the 
warning of the New York Tribune, cautioning the party to 
be on its guard against further fresh lies. The Maine elec- 
tions coming in September stimulated more vigorous or- 
ganization by the Republican Party in behalf of Garfield. 
Secretary Dorsey, of the Republican National Committee, 
went in person to Indiana to take charge of the State elec- 
tion there on October 12, and the swinging of this doubtful 
State into line was regarded as the political master-stroke 
of the campaign. His Republican friends attended a 
famous banquet given him at Delmonico's a little later, 
where Grant was toastmaster and leaders of the party 
gave countenance to his methods and success. The speech 
of Arthur, openly alluding to corruption in the election, 
was greeted with approving laughter by the banqueters. 

The difficult task of Garfield during the canvass, to keep 
in line the Conkling faction without losing the support of 
Blaine and his friends, was made more difficult after his 
election, when it was necessary for him to organize a Cabinet 
to please all tastes. Blaine became his Secretary of State 
and was his chief adviser. Overtures were made to the in- 
dependents by the appointment of one of their number, 
Wayne MacVeagh, of Philadelphia, as Attorney-General. 
An old supporter of Conkling, Postmaster Thomas L. 


James, of New York, was promoted to be Postmaster- 
General. The aversion of the Greenbackers in the West 
to the financial methods of New York was recognized by 
the appointment of William L. Windom, of Minnesota, as 
Secretary of the Treasury. The apparent harmony for 
which Garfield struggled lasted only until he ventured 
to send into the Senate his first personal nominations for 
offices in the State of New York, and precipitated a strug- 
gle with the Senators from that State over his right to 
control this patronage. 

"Did you notice the nominations sent in yesterday? 
They mean business and strength," wrote Mrs. James G. 
Patronage Blaine, March 24, 1881, commenting upon the 
and the nomination by President Garfield of a new col- 


lector of the port for New York. Until this date 
Garfield steered a middle course between the factions, and 
the Stalwart Senators persuaded themselves that he would 
not interfere with their local control of patronage. The in- 
fluence of Blaine in the Cabinet, however, as its only strong 
and seasoned political member, was growing every day. His 
long letters of advice to the President often contained sound 
counsel, but when the President chose to assert his power 
over offices at the center of Conkling's political domain, he 
invited certain opposition. Conkling opposed the confirma- 
tion of the nomination at once, invoking senatorial courtesy 
on the ground that he had not been consulted in advance, 
while Garfield invited attention to the issue by withdrawing 
from the Senate other pending nominations in order to give 
prominence to this particular appointment. He said to 
John Hay, to whom he had offered the post of private 
secretary, "They may take him out of the Senate head first 
or feet first; / will never withdraw him." For nearly two 
months Conkling and Piatt successfully postponed the con- 
firmation, but in May the Senate yielded to a growing pres- 
sure of public opinion that upheld the fundamental con- 
tention of Garfield that the power of appointment belongs 
to the President and not to the Senator of any State. 
On May 14 Conkling resigned his seat in the Senate in 


protest against this impairment of his senatorial preroga- 
tive, and hurried to Albany, where the New York Legisla- 
ture was in session, hoping to be vindicated in his position 
and triumphantly reelected. The junior Senator, Thomas 
C. Piatt, resigned as well, earning thereby the nickname, 
" Me too," that clung to him for two decades, until he came 
to be known as the "Easy Boss." Vice-President Arthur 
went to Albany to assist in lobbying for his old associate, 
but the "quixotic quest of vindication" by the "Stalwart 
Jupiter" and his "little satellite" came to nothing. The 
New York Legislature was unmoved by the injured esteem 
of its Senators and reelected neither of them. Piatt with- 
drew for a period into private business; Conkling passed 
forever out of national politics, leaving behind him noth- 
ing that lasted except his cynical declaration that "when 
Doctor Johnson said that patriotism was the last refuge 
of a scoundrel, he ignored the enormous possibilities of the 
word 'reform.'" 

The new Administration, fighting for its political life as 
that of Hayes had done, was at least not hampered by or- 
ganized opposition in Congress. Here the Re- Murder of 
publican Party expected to be able to command ^^^^^ 
majorities in both houses when they should convene in 
December, 1881. Before that date arrived the whole as- 
pect of the political situation was changed by the murderous 
attack made upon the President on July 2. Garfield was 
at the time on his way to a college reunion at Williamstown, 
Massachusetts. The murderer, Guiteau, shot him as he 
passed through the railway station to the train, and then 
ran noisily into the arms of a waiting policeman, who asked 
him why he had committed the act. His answer was, " I am 
a Stalwart, and want Arthur for President." The later in- 
vestigations that were made showed that Guiteau was prob- 
ably a madman, and that he had earlier in the spring infested 
the White House seeking a job, which had been refused. 
His language that suggested a Stalwart plot had no founda- 
tion in the acts of any but himself, but the mere fact that 
the life of a President lay at the mercy of an office-seeker, 


and that even a lunatic could justify murder on political 
grounds, served to advertise the futility of the struggle of 
the factions and the demoralizing nature of the fight for 

Garfield lingered through the summer, reported as dying 
one day and as recovering the next, and the Government 
Chester A. in Washington was forced to dwell upon the 
Arthur meaning of the phrase ''total disability of the 

President'' as contained in the Constitution. The recess 
of Congress prevented any attempt at legislative action to 
interpret it. On September 19 Garfield died and Chester A. 
Arthur, who had first come into national prominence when 
Hayes attacked him as a spoilsman, took up the work of 
President of the United States. Within the next few weeks 
most of the members of Garfield's Cabinet were allowed to 
resign and were replaced by Secretaries more congenial to 
the new President. Only one of the resigning statesmen 
left a perceptible gap. Blaine had brought force and 
personality into the State Department, and had seen the 
possibility of turning American foreign policy into an af- 
firmative prog^-am. He carried on with vigor the contro- 
versy that Evarts started under Hayes with reference to 
the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty and American rights on the 
Isthmus of Panama. He revived the note of American 
cooperation that Simon Bolivar touched in 1825, and 
issued invitations for a Pan-American Congress to meet in 
Washington. He intervened in the war in South America 
and he brought foreign affairs into domestic politics by the 
anti-British tenor of his correspondence, which gained him 
wide popularity with the Irish vote. He retired into pri- 
vate life in December, 1881, residing in Washington and 
devoting himself to the composition of his Twenty Years of 
Congress. The successor of Blaine, Frelinghuysen, contin- 
ued the policies as started except that the invitations for 
the Pan-American Congress were withdrawn. 

The reorgamization of the Cabinet, instead of being the 
first step toward a clean sweep of Half-Breeds out of office, 
was substantially the last step taken. To the amazement 


of his former associates *'Chet" Arthur was unwilling to 
proscribe the faction of Garfield. He never gained the re- 
gard of the Half-Breed group, nor the support of the in- 
dependents, but he succeeded in turning against himself the 
opposition of the group that had followed Conkling. In 
his personal conduct he changed from the manners of a 
custom-house politician to those of one of the most dignified 
Presidents of the United States. Before the end of his 
administration, decay had weakened the powers of the Stal- 
wart ring, and issues connected with new problems in 
American life had begun to remould the character of the 
Republican Party. 


Edward Stanwood, History of the Presidency (1898), is always the easiest 
and best reference for the platforms of national parties and the details of 
presidential campaigns. Professor Theodore Clark Smith is engaged in the 
preparation of a needed life of Garfield. James G. Blaine, Twenty Years 
of Congress (1884), covers the period preceding his appointment as Secre- 
tary of State. His official biography written after his death is Mary 
Abigail Dodge (Gail Hamilton), Biography of James G, Blaine (1895). 
Edward Stanwood, his brother-in-law, also has a James Gillespie Blaine 
(1905). The Recollections of John Sherman give one a version of the con- 
vention of 1880. A. B. Conkling, Life and Letters of Roscoe Conkling 
(1889), is an unimportant biography. Campaign methods may be fol- 
k)wed in Testimony Before the Wallace Select Committee of the Senate on 
Election Frauds^ 46th Cong., 2d Sess., Sen. Rep. 427. 



National politics lost much of its hold on the people in 
the administrations of Hayes and Garfield, in which poli- 
Era of ticians seemed to be squabbling for factional 

prosperity advantage and the spoils, and in which few of 
the recognized leaders had any program to offer for the 
better adjustment of government to the facts of life. More 
interesting in all respects were the facts of life themselves, 
as the depression prevailing for five years after 1873 was 
replaced by normal conditions, and these in turn by in- 
creasing prosperity that burst into an era of lavish specu- 
lation while Arthur was President. Robert IngersoU, 
perhaps the greatest orator of his day, spoke better than 
he knew when he declared in the Republican Convention 
of 1876 **that prosperity and resumption, when they come, 
must come together; that when they come, they will come 
hand in hand through the golden harvest fields; hand in 
hand by the whirling spindles and the turning wheels; hand 
in hand by the open furnace doors; hand in hand by the 
flaming forges; hand in hand by the chimneys filled with 
eager fire, greeted and grasped by the countless sons of toil." 
Underneath the prosperity that prevailed in the decade 
of the eighties was confidence in the stability and credit of 
the Government. Resumption placed all money on a parity 
and destroyed the uncertainties that came with fluctuating 
currency. The supply of labor was recruited by increasing 
hordes of immigrants from Europe. Continuous falling 
prices made the dollar of the wage-earner go farther than 
expected every day. Economic leadership at the top was 
founded upon the completion of a transportation plant 
national in its extent and upon mechanical invention that 
enlarged the list of human wants and increased the ease of 
satisfying them. 


Most of the railroads of the United States in 1879 ^^id 
been built in the preceding forty years and all of them had 
commonly been operated as private business on a Disappear- 
competitive basis. One by one the regions of the ance of 
United States were relieved from the limitations 
upon free communication established by the mountain 
ranges and the direction of river flow. The railroads cut 
across all obstacles and introduced new competitions with 
the older highways of trade. Before the Civil War, with 
thirty thousand miles of track in operation, the East and 
the old Northwest were well supplied with railroads, and 
the South was partially provided. In the decade of the 
sixties the greatest railway changes were north and west 
of Chicago, and on the border of the Western plains, where 
the Union Pacific Railway was driven to the Pacific. The 
opening of this road in 1869 marks the beginning of the 
final chapter in the building of the railroad plant. The 
Extern States were still separated from the Pacific slope 
by the great barrier of plains, mountains, and desert, but in 
the next fifteen years this space was crossed and recrossed 
until, by the end of 1883, the open frontier was gone forever, 
and the United States was equipped with a national railroad 
system of 110,414 miles that enabled every region in the 
country to find a market for its products and that worked 
continuously to lower the costs of delivery from maker to 

In the years between 1869 and 1883, four continental 
railroads, all encouraged by grants of land by Congress, 
were carried to completion. The Northern La^^^ 
Pacific was chartered in 1864 to run from Lake grants to 
Superior to Puget Sound ; the Atlantic and Pacific 
was to be built from southwestern Missouri to southern 
California and was chartered in 1866. The Texas Pacific, 
authorized in 1 871, was the last of the land-grant continen- 
tal railroads, and was proposed to be built from the junc- 
tion point of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, west to 
California. The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa F6 received 
a local land grant given by Congress to Kansas and built 


southwest over the Santa F6 Trail and down the valley of 
the Rio Grande. All of these railroads were started before 
the panic of 1873, and the completion of all was delayed 
until the depression following that panic had spent its 

The construction gangs of the continental railroads re- 
appeared upon the high plains in the building seasons of 
1878 and 1879. In the interval of depression, steel rails 
had increased in popularity and structural steel had begun 
to be available to take the place of timber and masonry. 
The discoveries of Sir Henry Bessemer and the resulting 
processes for the commercial manufacture of steel took 
place in the preceding decade, but the output of the rolling 
mills was not sufficient for the needs of building before 
1 873. The use of steel wrought a revolution in the construc- 
tion of bridges, in naval engineering, and in city architec- 
ture, but nowhere was the change more welcome than in 
railroad-building where the steel rail provided for the first 
time a safe and durable roadway for the rolling stock. 

The Southern Pacific of California, although it had no 
continental franchise of its own, led in the completion of 
the Southern group of railroads. By 1883 through trains 
were running over its tracks to the Colorado River, and 
thence east over three lines to the Mississippi. It estab- 
lished traffic arrangements with the Atchison, Topeka, and 
Santa F6, which took its trains to Kansas City and St. 
Louis; and with the Texas Pacific, which took them across 
the whole width of Texas from El Paso to Texarkana; and 
it acquired local lines in southern Texas through San An- 
tonio and Houston to New Orleans. 

The opening of the Southern continental railroads took 
place in 1882 and 1883. The successful operation of the 
lines called for a degree of team-work unusual on the rail- 
roads, notorious for their rate wars and their cut-throat 
competition. The Western magnates, drawn into the rail- 
road business to build the Central Pacific, and staying in 
it to control the Southern Pacific and its eastern connec- 
tions, desired to simplify their holdings. They secured in 


1884 a charter from the State of Kentucky for a Southern 
Pacific Company which they operated as a holding cor- 
poration for their Western roads. They secured their 
charter as far away from the location of the railroads as 
they could so as to minimize the risk of public interference 
with their business. The Southern Pacific system, which 
emerged from their construction and manipulation, domi- 
nated the whole southwestern quarter of the United States. 

Henry Villard, a journalist of German birth, played the 
most prominent part in the completion of the Northern 
Pacific Railway. Jay Cooke, the financier of xhcNorth- 
the Civil War, and the best-known American ern Pacific 
banker of the sixties, had undertaken to build 
this road and had been broken by it in 1873. From Duluth 
at the tip of Lake Superior it had been built to the Missouri 
River before the panic stopped it, and it had constructed a 
few miles in Washington near its terminal city of Tacoma. 
In 1879 construction was renewed from the Missouri River 
to the junction of the Columbia and Snake near old Fort 
Walla Walla. At this point Henry Villard, who had ac- 
quired control of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Com- 
pany, began to exert pressure upon the Northern Pacific 
to secure favorable terms for his rail and steamship lines in 
the Northwest. He failed to secure these terms by open 
n^otiation, but was able to ratise a large sum among his 
New York friends to form a "blind pool" for a profitable 
private speculation. With the funds of the pool he bought 
secretly enough stock to control both the Northern Pacific 
and the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company and 
organized the Oregon and Trans-Continental as a holding 
company to manage it. 

The Northern Pacific line was opened in September, 
1883, but failed to arouse much comment because the news 
value of Pacific rstilroads had recently been lessened by the 
completion of the Southern Pacific links. Villard made a 
great celebration of it, with a special train and many in- 
vited guests, but his road traversed an unsettled country 
and was in financial trouble from the start. 


The Denver and Rio Grande, working in cooperation 
with the Chic2igo, Burlington, and Quincy, opened another 
through service almost continental in its extent in the sum- 
mer of 1883. Its tracks from Denver to Ogden followed 
the royal gorge of the Arkansas River, and in Ogden it made 
a connection with the Union Pacific and lines leading to the 

The continental frontier, first pierced by a railroad in 
1869, was completely destroyed by 1884. Along six differ- 
ent lines, between New Orleans and St. Paul, it had been 
made possible to cross the sometime American Desert to 
the Pacific States. No large portion of the United States 
remained beyond the reach of easy colonization. Instead of 
a waste that forbade national unity, and compelled a rudi- 
mentary civilization in its presence, a thousand plains 
stations beckoned for colonists and long lines of railroads 
bound the nation into an economic and political unit. That 
which General Sheridan had foreseen in 1882 was now a fact. 
He had written: "As the railroads overtook the successive 
lines of isolated frontier posts and settlements spread out 
over country no longer requiring military protection, the 
army vacated its temporary shelters and marched on into 
remote regions beyond, there to repeat and continue its 
pioneer work. In rear of the advancing line of troops the 
primitive 'dugouts' and cabins of the frontiersmen were 
steadily replaced by the tasteful houses, thrifty farms, neat 
villages, and busy towns of a people who knew how best to 
employ the vast resources of the great West. The civiliza- 
tion from the Atlantic is now reaching out toward that rap- 
idly approaching it from the direction of the Pacific, the 
long intervening strip of territory, extending from the Brit- 
ish possessions to Old Mexico, yearly growing narrower; 
finally the dividing lines will entirely disappear and the 
mingling settlements absorb the remnants of the once 
powerful Indian nations who, fifteen years ago, vainly at- 
tempted to forbid the destined progress of the age." 

The completion of the continental railroads made possi- 
ble the adoption of a reform long needed for the comfort of 


the traveling public. In England, with the limited dis- 
tances, it had been possible to extend the time standard 
of Greenwich Observatory over the whole island ^^® 
without causing great inconvenience. In France the time 
of Paris had been made the standard time, but in the 
United States with a range of fifty degrees in longitude, 
meaning a difference in true time of some three hours be- 
tween the oceans, no single standard could be adopted. 
Every railroad followed its own preference in adjusting its 
time-tables, and in cities like Pittsburgh, Chicago, and St. 
Louis, where large numbers of railroads converged, each 
with its own system, the traveler needed to have his wits 
about him when he handled the railroad guides. A stand- 
ard time convention held in the spring of 1883 found some 
fifty-six standards of time in use in the United States. Later 
in the year the owners of nearly eighty thousamd miles of 
railroad agreed to the adoption of four zones, each uni- 
formly operating on a single standard. On November 18, 
1883, standard time came into existence. 

With the continental railroads built, the transportation 
plant of the United States was substantially complete, and 
although its mileage continued to grow, the future growth 
was one of detail and improvement of local service. The 
rapidity with which the continental roads were thrust across 
the plains and the mountains to the Pacific, following the 
trails of the overland emigrants and searching out the min- 
ing camps of the Western Territories, brought an unex- 
pected strain upon both the General Land Office and the 
Post-Office Department, with the result that the latter 
broke down and became the victim of a notorious scandal 
in 1 88 1, while the Land Office needed a thorough overhaul- 
ing by the successor of Arthur. 

The task of the Postmaster-General to deliver the mails 
was susceptible of routine administration in those parts of 
the country where the population was thickly spread in 
permanent residences. The mail service to the frontier was 
the most expensive and the most difficult to administer, but 
the mail routes followed the wagon-roads of the farmers 


with considerable success. In the mining region of the Far 
West there was no such certainty. At best the mines were 
hundreds of miles away from the larger centers of settled 
life. The transitory character of the mining camp made it 
possible for a city of ten thousand inhabitants to appear 
within a single month and to disappear as rapidly. The 
mining communities demanded a mail service sufficiently 
elastic to keep up with their shif tings from place to place, 
and Congress recognized this need by providing special 
treatment for the Western mail routes. 

The practice of the Post-Office Department was to divide 
all mail routes into two classes, according as the pouches 
were carried by train or boat, or by some other conveyance. 
The latter group. Indicated on the Post-Office's lists by 
stars, were known as the ''star routes" and included those 
services rendered by w2igon, stcigecoach, or mail rider. 

The longest and most important of the star routes served 
the remote settlements in the Western plains and moun- 
tains. They were subject to the sudden and unexpected 
demands of a shifting population that became more insist- 
ent as the population of the plains increased and as the ad- 
vancing railroads encouraged wider settlement. The or- 
dinary mail routes were advertised and let at fixed prices to 
the contractors who operated them, but in the case of the 
star routes the law permitted a readjustment of compensa- 
tion without readvertising the route in case a need should 
arise for Increased service or greater expedition. The 
Second Assistant Postmaster-General, whose duty it was to 
adjust the mail service to the fluctuating demands upon it, 
became in 1881 a central figure in the star-route frauds. 

For several years before 1881 Congress was irritated by 
the fact that the financial needs of the star routes could not 
Star-route be anticipated, and that the office was being 
frauds operated without reference to available funds, 

but in reliance upon deficiency appropriations. In the post- 
office hearings testimony was taken to show the uncertain- 
ties of the service and the impossibility of reducing it to 
schedule. The star routes were investigated in 1878 and 


shown to be in an unsatisfactory condition, partly because 
of the financial irresponsibility of the frontier mail con- 
tractors. Washington became conscious of a group of con- 
sistent bidders for the star routes, among whom the most 
prominent were Stephen W. Dorsey and various of his rela- 
tives. Dorsey was a former Senator from Arkansas and as 
secretary of the Republican National Committee managed 
Garfield's campaign in 1880. 

Thomas J. Brady, in charge of the star routes as Second 
Assistant Postmaster-General, was under suspicion of mis- 
management and extravagance in 1880, and resigned his 
office under pressure from the President in April, 1881, 
while the Senate was deadlocked over the New York Cus- 
tom-House appointment. The charge against Brady, as 
rumor popularly stated it, was that he had acted in collu- 
sion with a ring of political star-route contractors, of which 
Dorsey was the chief; that the favored contractors had put 
in fictitious bids for the star routes and had secured the 
contracts because their bids were below the actual cost of 
the service to any honest contractor; that upon receiving 
the contracts they had by collusion and fraud produced 
evidence in favor of accelerating the mails or increasing the 
service over their routes, and that Brady had criminally 
raised the compensation to an unreasonable amount. In 
134 routes originally awarded at $143,169, the compensa- 
tion was thus raised to $622,808. After raising the com- 
pensation the favored contractors sublet the routes and 
divided the proceeds among themselves. It was charged 
that they had also contributed generously to the Republi- 
can campaign funds. "It is difficult to believe," said the 
Stalwart Chicago Inter -Ocean, **that he [Brady] was not in 
league with a set of unscrupulous contractors to defraud 
the Government." 

Brady resigned under pressure, denying his guilt, and 
Washington gossip was informed that he would never be 
prosecuted because Garfield was himself in- ThcHub- 
volved and because Brady possessed letters that ^" ^^^^ 
would involve others in his downfall. A few days after his 


retirement, a letter written by Garfield while a candidate, 
to the chairman of the Republican campaign committee, was 
given to the press, and it was threatened that more would 
follow. The Hubbell letter was written in a dark moment 
of the campaign, when party funds were low, and there was 
doubt as to whether the Stalwarts would support the ticket. 
*'My dear Hubbell," wrote Garfield from Mentor, August 
23, 1880, "Yours of the 19th instant is received. Please 
say to Brady that I hope he will give us all the assistance 
possible. I think he can help effectively. Please tell me 
how the departments are doing." The murder of Garfield 
before the trial of Brady prevented further revelations if 
indeed there were any to be made, but Attorney-General 
MacVeagh proceeded to prepare the cases, employing in the 
work Benjamin Harrison Brewster, whom Arthur selected 
to succeed him as Attorney-General. The trial and con- 
viction of Guiteau was drs^ging out its fifty-three days of 
unseemly court-room conduct when the first of the star- 
route cases came to trial in Washington and was dismissed 
on technical grounds. One of the accused, M. C. Rerdell, 
a former private secretary of Dorsey, had already confessed 
his guilt and filed affidavits showing the nature of the fraud. 
A Washington grand jury indicted Dorsey and Brady and 
several others in February, 1882, and suits against indi- 
Acquittal vidual Contractors were brought locally through- 
o^|>grsev out the country. The trial took place in the 
^ summer with Robert IngersoU defending the 
accused, two of whom, minor accomplices, were found 
guilty. The conviction was set aside by the court and a 
new trial was arranged for the summer of 1883, Dorsey 
meanwhile publishing a long public statement of his in- 
nocence on December i, 1882, as well as numerous letters 
tending to show his political intimacy with General Gar- 
field. He resigned as secretary of the Republican National 
Committee in January, 1883, and was finally acquitted in 
June in spite of the testimony of Rerdell. None of the 
principals of the star-route frauds was ever convicted, but 
the testimony throws a strong light upon the conditions 


prevailing in the Far West in the last days of the old fron- 
tier, and upon the character of the civil service that Presi- 
dent Hayes had tried in vain to reform. 


The best works on the continental railroads are L. H. Haney, A Con- 
ffressional History of Railroads , 18S0-1887 (1910), E. V. Smalley, No%thern 
Pacific Railroad (1883), J. P. Davis, The Union Pacific Railway (1894), 
and C. F. Carter, When Railroads Were New (1909). Further data on the 
Northern Pacific may be found in E. P. Oberholtzer, Jay Cooke (1907), and 
Henry Villard, Memoirs (1904). For the Canadian Pacific, see Beckles 
Willson, The Life of Lord Straihcona and Mount Royal (1915), and Walter 
Vaughan, The Life and Work of Sir William Van Home (1920); for the 
Great Northern, see Joseph G. Pyle, The Life of James J. Hill (191 7). 
The subject is specially treated in the monograph, F. L. Paxson, "The 
Pacific Railroads and the Disappearance of the Frontier,*' in the American 
Historical Association, Annual Report, 1907. The trend of falling prices 
after 1879 may be studied in T. E. Burton and G. S. Selden, A Century of 
Prices (l9i9)« ^The history of the star routes must still be dug out from 
the newspaper reports of the trials and the congressional investigations. 



The. completion of the national railroad system brought 
forces into operation that tended to reduce prices in the 
years that followed, and made it possible for business to take 
advantage of the wider markets that were made available. 
In March, 1881, Howells published, in the Atlantic Monthly ^ 
"The Story of a Great Monopoly," by Henry Demarest 
Lloyd, which was the '* first volley" in a national attack 
upon monopolies. The article was so widely read that it 
took seven editions of the Atlantic to meet the demand, 
while the Standard Oil Company, which was the subject of 
the story, took a leadership among the unpopular monopo- 
lies that it has never lost. 

The petroleum industry began about 1859, when means 
were found to refine the crude petroleum that existed in 
„ widely spread deposits in the Appalachian re- 

gion, and to burn the kerosene that resulted 
for illuminating purposes. The kerosene lamp lengthened 
the day throughout the civilized world and speedily drove 
out of use the candles and the animal oils upon which 
society had formerly been forced to rely. The dim and 
flickering flame of the gaslight continued to be adopted and 
improved, but the new lamp filled such a genuine want that 
it created a universal market for petroleum. 

Between i860 and 1880 the petroleum industry passed 
through its speculative stages, while John D. Rockefeller, 
of Cleveland, and his associates gained control of most of 
the refineries. The business was essentially one of monop- 
oly character because of the heavy investment necessary 
before the oil could be transported with economy, and the 
cheapness of transport after the investment had been made. 
In the oil regions any farmer could sink his wells and pro- 
duce crude petroleum at the well mouth at low cost. In 


the early years this was carried in barrels from the well 
mouth to the refinery and thence to the retailer. The oil 
was cheap and the barrels were costly, and the difficulties 
of storage and transportation controlled the price of oil. 
Tank-cars were invented a little later at greater initial cost, 
but with greater economies in operation, while the owner of 
tank-cars was able to bargaun to advantage with the trunk- 
line railroads for the business of hauling them to tidewater. 
The New York Central, the Erie, the Lackawanna, the 
Pennsylvania, and the Baltimore and Ohio all reached the 
oil r^ion and scrambled for the business, offering special ad- 
vantages and rebates to secure the traffic of the larger ship- 
pers. These special rates made it possible for the larger 
shippers to grow still larger, and none of the refiners ex- 
celled Rockefeller in skill and ingenuity in gaining advan- 
tage from the unstable railroad rates. 

As public opinion turned against special rates and re- 
bates in the later seventies, the pipe-line from oil-field to 
refinery, and thence to distributing points, with pumping- 
stations en route, was invented to take over much of the 
traffic of the tank-cars. These pipe-lines still further in- 
creased the costs for construction, yet made possible more 
sweeping economies in the delivery of oil. The most vex- 
atious portion of the business from the standpoint of the 
operators was the great number of rival companies and their 
various competing policies. In January, 1882, Rockefeller 
brought about a combination in the oil business, whereby 
the stock in the competing companies was turned over to 
be managed by a board of trustees. He dominated this 
board, and the trust that it created produced immediate 
harmony in the oil-refining business, which was recognized 
at once in spite of the fact that the agreement itself was kept 
secret for several years. 

The oil monopoly raised a problem in politics that tended 
to dim the recognition of the importance of kerosene in mak- 
ing life more livable. Another monopoly, openly launched 
in January, 1881, brought into single hands another of the 
newer inventions, the electric telegi-aph. 


The story of Samuel F. B. Morse and his persistent 
struggle to secure the adoption of the telegraph and to re- 
The tain control of its operation is one of the most in- 

telegraph spiring tales in the field of industry. After its 
experimental period the telegraph became a reality in 1844, 
and spread its network of wires over the nation in the next 
few years. Like the early railroad lines telegraph wires 
were stretched piecemeal by a multitude of rival companies. 
At the end of the seventies consolidation of the rival com- 
panies had progressed so far that three organizations, the 
Western Union, the American Union, and the Atlantic and 
Pacific controlled most of the lines. In January, 1881, Jay 
Gould and Willieun H. Vanderbilt brought about the consoli- 
dation of these three companies in the Western Union, and 
the newspapers of the country bitterly described themselves 
as in the clutcnes of a monster monopoly. 

The telegraph was discovered by the random reflection 
of a portrait painter, while its sister instrument was patented 
The by Alexander Graham Bell, an elocutionist who 

telephone reached his idea through the theory of acoustics. 
The basic patent of the Bell telephone was filed in February, 
1876, and at the Philadelphia Centennial the interesting toy 
was on exhibition, where it aroused the excited admiration 
of the Emperor Dom Pedro of Brazil. With the assistance 
of Theodore N. Vail, Bell put his patent into commercial use 
and before the end of the decade commercial exchanges 
made their appearance in the larger cities. There were 
444,000 instruments in use in 1890, the Bell Telephone com- 
panies had approached the condition of monopoly, but the 
habits of business had undergone a greater change than has 
been produced by any other instrument except the type- 

The invention of a practical writing machine was not due 
to chance, but to long experiment by many inventors, in 
The which Charles Latham Sholes was the first to be 

typewriter successful. By 1 874 he had devised a machine 
with movable types that would actually write, and soon after 
1880 several typewriters were on the market. It took many 


years for the typewriter to overcome the prejudice in favor 
of the written word in polite and formal correspondence, but 
its easy popularity in the business office encouraged inven- 
tors to try to adapt the idea to typesetting. Mark Twain, 
who spent money freely when he had it, wasted a fortune in 
this search, backing the wrong inventor of a typesetting 
machine. Other inventions that increased the ease of com- 
munication and widened the influence of the individual in 
business were the half-tone process that made it possible 
to reproduce photographs and other illustrations, and the 
photographic dry plate, which appeared in 1878 and brought 
the camera within reach of every one. 

The increasing use of electricity invited the experiments 
that were made by Thomas A. Edison to perfect the incan- 
descent light. In his experimental laboratory incandes- 
at Menlo Park, New Jersey, he carried out a long ^^^^ ^*^^^® 
series of experiments in a deliberate search for the right fila- 
ment and the proper structure of the glass bulb. The arc 
light was already here and there in use, but was noisy in 
operation and gave at best only a flickering light. Edison 
was successful in 1879, and at the end of the year introduced 
a perfected light. The significance of the incandescent light 
was instantly seen. Gas companies became apprehensive 
as to their future revenues. A decade later, when plans 
were being laid for the decoration of the World's Fair at 
Chicago, it was possible to rely upon the incandescent light 
not only for illumination, but for artistic and easily controlled 
effects of light. The phonograph that Edison designed 
earlier than his incandescent light was a workable toy, but 
developed less rapidly. 

The new inventions, gaining popularity for themselves 
in the early eighties, ran parallel to a wider use of older in- 
ventions. The sewing machine fell in price due to the ex- 
piration of its basic patent rights in 1877, agricultural 
machinery continued to be improved and to be used upon 
an ever-wider scale, while the manufacture of the new de- 
vices brought new factories into existence and increased the 
congestion in the cities. The home became more comfort- 


able, with the oil lamp and the sewing machine; and into 
newer homes was brought the luxury of the telephone and 
incandescent lights, as the central stations were built to 
provide these services. The increasing size of the cities 
raised the problem of rapid transit, with New York, be- 
cause of its peculiar topography, leading in the search 
for improvements in transportation. The horse-cars and 
omnibuses that provided the first organized traffic in the 
cities came to be regarded as too slow and clumsy. Ele- 
vated railroads were experimented with in the interests of 
speed and safety, and before 1880 were in operation in New 
York. A bridge across the East River to Brooklyn, much 
desired for a similar reason, was built during this decade and 
was formally opened to traffic in May, 1883. Edison was 
by this date experimenting with an electric-driven trolley- 
car, while other inventors were hoping to solve the problem 
by means of cables run in underground conduits. 

The Middle and Eastern States underwent the greatest 
change as the industrial reorganization advanced. The 
Industrial Western States were most affected by the rail- 
reorgani- way growth. The Southern States in these same 

years of business revival showed signs of re- 
covery from the depression of the Civil- War period, and 
started upon an independent economic life. The Southern 
railroads were nearly extinct in 1865, and their rebuilding 
ran through many years. The construction of great rail- 
road bridges across the Mississippi at St. Louis in 1874 ^^^ 
at Memphis in 1892 give the limits for the period in which 
the South revived. The old plantation as it was known be- 
fore the war disappeared in the economic revolution, and in 
its place came a shrinkage in the size of farms and an in- 
crease in the number of tenant farmers. These farmers, 
white or black, still devoted themselves chiefly to the culti- 
vation of cotton, and carried a burden of debt as heavy as 
that of the pioneer farmer in the Western States. The debt 
of the Southern farmer held him to the cultivation of a 
single crop, the loans were made by the general storekeeper 
in the form of credit advances secured by notes upon the 


forthcoming cotton crop, and it was to the interest of the 
creditor to secure as large a crop as possible in order to 
safeguard his loans. 

The credit system of the South was a burden upon its 
development, but in spite of it a new spirit was visible in 
the former Confederacy. A Cotton States' Deveiop- 
Exposition was held at New Orleans in 1884 to mcnt of 
celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the earli- 
est cotton exports from the South. The exhibits revealed 
the economic regeneration that was under way. In the 
next few years the development of the railroad systems in- 
duced a more diversified agriculture. The cotton-lands of 
Texas were brought into use, and their competition reduced 
the prosperity of the older cotton States, driving these to 
better agriculture and the cultivation of additional crops. 

The social life of the South was still determined by the 
presence of its negro population. The unwillingness of the 
white inhabitants to be ruled by the negro vote brought 
about a practical nullification of the Civil- War amendments 
to the Constitution. The right of the negro to vote was 
taken away from him by fraud or force, as home rule was 
reestablished in the early seventies. The civil rights con- 
ferred upon the freedman by the Fourteenth Amendment 
and enforced by subsequent acts of Congress were declared 
by the Supreme Court in the Civil Rights Cases of 1884 not 
to include the right to equality of social treatment. In 
1890 Mississippi adopted an educational test as a qualifi- 
cation for suffrage and as a means of disfranchising the 
negro without violating the Fifteenth Amendment, and the 
other Southern States soon followed suit. The South as 
a whole was recovering its self-confidence, but it had be- 
come politically a region of a single party. 

The change in business, whether through new inventions 
or through the reorganization of old industries, gave oppor- 
tunities for the accumulation of private fortunes Money 
hitherto unknown in the United States. A ^^^^ 
group of money kings arose, with fortunes whose existence 
appeared to challenge the success of the existing social 


order, and whose personal conduct absorbed public atten- 
tion to an increasing extent. 

The earlier American fortunes were ordinarily the result 
of commerce or banking. In 1877 Commodore Cornelius 
Vanderbilt died and within a few months he was followed 
by John Jacob Astor and A. T. Stewart, who with him were 
regarded as the richest men in America. The three for- 
tunes thus passed on to other hands were typical of different 
methods of accumulation. Two had been acquired, one 
had been inherited. The original John Jacob Astor, a Ger- 
man peddler, came to America near the close of the Revolu- 
tion and was soon identified with the organization of the 
fur trade in the Northwest. His gains, according to the 
popular tradition, were invested in New York real estate 
and became the nucleus of an estate that grew in value as 
New York City spread up Manhattan Island toward the 
Bronx. By 1877 it had become the greatest of American 
inherited properties and was becoming the foundation of a 
notable family. 

Stewart and Vanderbilt made their own fortunes. The 
former, an Irish immigrant, became a general merchant, 
and his New York store was started before his death upon 
the course of development that produced the great depart- 
ment store of the next decade. Cornelius Vanderbilt earned 
his honorary title of '* commodore'* by operating steam- 
boat lines In the waters around New York. About 1867 he 
turned his savings into railroad securities and soon became 
the dominating master of the New York Central. His 
son, William K. Vanderbilt, took on the guidance of the 
business before his father's death, and later defended the 
will, in which the Commodore had held most of his wealth 
together and passed it on to the favorite son. The younger 
Vanderbilt carried the New York Central lines through the 
strikes of 1877 with a minimum of interruption, and in 1882 
became identified with one of the famous phrases in Ameri- 
can business. The Pennsylvania Railroad had just started 
a new fast train to Chicago and when Vanderbilt was asked 
what the New York Central would do to meet the public 


expectation of a rival train, he replied briefly (so the re- 
porter insisted), ''The public be damned." The phrase 
gained a wide and embarrassing circulation and was given 
interpretations not intended by its user, but did not mis- 
represent the practical attitude of most railroads and many 
other great industrial enterprises of its day. 

yhe newer fortunes, whose owners were now working 
themselves into the public eye, were often too huge to have 
been accumulated by the efforts of a single man, and were in 
many cases the results of successful speculation or of well- 
directed team-work. Jay Gould and Thomas A. Scott 
were representative of the railroad group. The latter, pres- 
ident of the Pennsylvania Railroad, was also identified 
with many Western roads and was engaged in 1878 in an 
effort to secure the land subsidy voted to the Texas Pacific 
Railway in 1871, but forfeited through non-construction. 
The New York Sun insinuated that the Texas Pacific pool 
had induced the Southern States to accept Hayes as Presi- 
dent without revolt on the promise that Congress would 
do something for the Texas Pacific. Scott at least was oc- 
cupied in the construction and operation of railroads. Jay 
Gould's connection with them was chiefly speculative. 

Gould gained his place before the public as one of the 
gold conspirators who tried in 1869 to comer the market 
and raise the premium on gold. A decade later he was 
associated with the reorganization of the Union Pacific and 
the Kansas Pacific as they struggled to get on their feet 
after the depression of the seventies, and a little later he 
put the Wabash system together. In 1880 he was sus- 
pected of being the principal financial supporter of James 
G. Blaine. He died in 1892, turning his whole estate into 
family channels. 

The fortunes of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rocke- 
feller, becoming notable in this decade, were founded upon 
team-work and the exploitation of natural resources. Each 
was believed capable of ruthless competition, but each was 
the center of a group of associates that added to the re- 
sources of thf country. Oil and steel were brought into a 


new relationship with society as the industrial revolution 
progressed, and the profits that accrued as the Standard 
Oil companies and the Carnegie Steel interests rose to 
national ascendancy were largely the result of a service 
actually rendered. 

The American millionaire became a figure in all the cap- 
itals of the world, as well as in American society, and re- 
ceived a full-length portrait in the Rise of Silas Laphant 
(1885). The ambition to found families was early recog- 
nized, and as the great wealth of millionaires made it diffi- 
cult for poorer persons to associate with them, they flocked 
by themselves at Saratoga Springs and Newport, and gave 
the incentive for the development of winter resorts in Flor- 
ida and southern California. Their social habits were con- 
stantly under criticism by a public that regarded them with 
a mixture of pride and exasperation. In 1886 a group of 
wealthy New Yorkers opened a residence colony of their 
own at Tuxedo Park, on the former estate of Pierre Loril- 
lard, where they built a casino, and playgrounds, and cot- 
tages, and acquired the distinction without knowing it of 
bringing the country club into American life. 

The plainer Americans, admitting no inferiority and irri- 
tated when travelers spoke of the middle and the lower 
Popular classes, organized recreation of their own as the 
recreation cities became too congested for comfort. The 
population of New York City discovered Coney Island in 
1876 on an attractive beach that had been unoccupied a 
few years before, and the drive thither from Brooklyn was 
crowded with trotting horses and showy carriages, while 
steamboat lines and special railroads moved the larger 
crowds. Cape May, famous before the Civil War as a 
summer resort, was now outclassed by Atlantic City, whose 
nearness to Philadelphia made it an easy outlet for the city 


Ida M. Tarbell, History of the Standard Oil Company (1904), is the best 
work of its kind. John D. Rockefeller, Random Reminiscences of Men and 
Eoenis (1909), is of slight value. E. Li M?'^ (^»)» Samud F, ^. ^of^ 


His Letters and Journals (1914), is an invaluable contribution to the history 
of the telegraph; less substantial are Herbert N. Casson, History of the 
Telephone (1910), F. T. Cooper, Thomas A. Edison (1914), and F. J. 
Garbit, The Phonograph and its Inventor, Thomas Alvah Edison (1878). 
Mrs. Burton Harrison, History of the City of New York (1896), describes the 
changes in the material structure of that city. Robert P. Brooks, The 
Agrarian Revolution in Georgia, 186S-IQ12 (19 14), gives a detailed picture 
of the changes in one Southern State. Burton J. Hendrick, The Age of Big 
Business (1919), gives entertaining biographical sketches of several of the 
wealthiest captains of industry. 



Widespread prosperity followed the resumption of specie 
payments in 1879. Railroads and factories provided con- 
stant demand for labor, while the former opened up great 
areas of public domain for purposes of farming. The fall in 
prices, that had seemed a menace to the existence of the 
farmer in the days of the depression, ceased to worry him 
in the good years that followed. The parties of protest, 
born of hard times, dwindled between 1878 and 1882, and 
lost most of their supporters except the incorrigible ideal- 
ists, who were unwilling to put up with the compromises of 
the larger parties and persisted in hoping that a third party 
might be the vehicle of real reform. 

In the Congressional elections of 1882, the Democratic 
Party rushed to the attack with party capital derived from 
Congres- ^^^ misfortunes of the Republicans, and here and 
sionalelec- there, where factional controversy existed in 

Republican communities, there was unearned 
political profit for Democratic and Greenback candidates. 
President Arthur was performing his duties in partial iso- 
lation, with his former Stalwart friends chilled by his deser- 
tion, and independents not satisfied of his complete repent- 
ance. The star-route frauds were at the height of their 
notoriety, and were used to show a demoralized condition 
in Republican administration. The varied attempts of the 
Administration tb save its party were turned to its disad- 
vantage. The Secretary of the Treasury, Charles A. Fol- 
ger, was nominated for governor of New York and was sup- 
ported vigorously by the Administration, with the result 
that he was treated as a machine candidate and was beaten 
by a relatively unknown man, Grover Cleveland, who stood 
as the champion of reform. 

The Republican Congressional campaign was managed 


by the same J. A. Hubbell, of Michigan, to whom Garfield 
had written his unwise letter in 1880. In a series of circu- 
lars which Democratic papers copied widely, he called upon 
the federal office-holders for assessments to the party funds, 
and declared that these were voluntary, when taxed with 
violation of the anti-assessment law of 1876. 

The appeal for reform attracted much attention. Hub- 
bell himself lost his seat in Congress, and a Democratic 
House of Representatives, chosen to take office Tariff 
in 1883, became an admonition to the Republi- ""^vision 
cans in the short session of 1 882-83 to pass what laws they 
could before they lost control. A revision of the tariff was 
the most pressing of their necessities, for there were signs 
that the Democratic Party was demanding a reform in the 
revenue system, and that good Republicans were unwilling 
to defend it. "There are stupendous interests in America 
which have grown into monopolies through the artificial 
nurture of the tariff," said the Stalwart New York Herald, 
The Secretary of the Treasury saw it from a different angle, 
and wrote in his annual report of 1882, ''What now perplexes 
the Secretary is not wherefrom he may get revenue and 
enough for the pressing needs of the Government, but 
whereby he shall turn back into the flow of business the 
more than enough for those needs that has been with- 
drawn from the people." 

The tariff situation in 1882 had come about as much by 
accident as by design, and in its immediate operation was 
the heritage of financial reconstruction. The Morrill 
tariff of 1 86 1, passed by a Republican Congress in the last 
days of the administration of James Buchanan, was a 
moderately protective measure, and provided the back- 
ground for all tariff legislation of the next two decades. 
The details and rates of this tariff were greatly changed 
through the necessities of the Civil War, and it was dis- 
covered that the internal revenue taxes and the tariff rates 
must be adjusted in harmony with each other. The situa- 
tion produced by the Morrill tariff was changed for many 
American manufacturers when they were compelled to pay 


the heavy internal taxes levied upon incomes, trades, and 
manufactured goods before 1865. Their European com- 
petitors, who could not be required to bear similar burdens, 
received an advantage in the competitive market. Con- 
gress yielded to the pressure of manufacturers to restore the 
equilibrium of trade by increasing tariff rates in order to 
balance the burden placed upon domestic manufacturers by 
the internal revenues. Every time the internal taxes were 
increased during the war, Congress was called upon to in- 
crease the tariff rates as well, and in 1865 both sources were 
yielding revenues beyond anything hitherto known in 
American experience. The tariff in that year brought in 
$84,000,000 ; the internal revenue, $209,000,000. 

The program of financial reconstruction called for the 
reestablishment of public credit and the redemption of the 
greenbacks, as well as the lowering of revenues to a peace 
basis. In reducing the revenues the difficulties were un- 
even. The internal taxes had no friends, and public opinion 
generally approved the reduction and elimination of the in- 
come and stamp taxes, and the other forms of excise that 
had been borne as a patriotic duty. Tariff revision was 
attended with great difficulty. At each suggestion of this, 
manufacturers hurried to Washington to protest against the 
injury to their business that would occur if the rates were 
lowered, and Congressmen made common cause with each 
other to protect their constituents from these losses. 

By 1873 most of the internal revenue taxes had been 
withdrawn, leaving industry protected not only by the orig- 
inal rates of the Morrill tariff, but by the additional com- 
pensatory rates that had been added to offset the internal 
war taxes. In most cases there was now no justification for 
these extra rates, which had come to give an unintended and 
accidental protection, but as a matter of practical politics, 
it was difficult to get rid of them because they were in- 
timately tied up with the personal profit of influential 

A flat reduction of ten per cent in tariff rates was voted 
by Congress in 1872, This was less than the amount of the 


accidental protection, but seemed to be more than the 
country could bear when a few months later the panic of 
1873 made hard times universal, reducing American pur- 
chases abroad, and lowering the national revenue until it 
was insufficient for the needs of the Government. By 
1879, when prosperity came back, most persons had for- 
gotten that the tariff rates had not existed forever. The 
tariff question was entirely out of politics, and manufacturers 
enjoyed almost unchallenged the extra profits conferred on 
them by the accident of financial reconstruction. 

There had been some theoretical opposition to the tariff 
and protection even through the period of depression, and 
the principles of free trade were advanced by a group of 
economists among whom David A. Wells, Edward Atkinson, 
and William Graham Sumner were the leaders. Their 
teachings aroused indignant rejoinders from practical busi- 
ness men. *' In nothing is it easier to show stupidity than 
in the framing of a tariff law," wrote Joseph Wharton, one 
of the most important of the Pennsylvania ironmasters, who 
founded a school of finance and economy in the University 
of Pennsylvania in 188 1 to teach what he regarded as sound 
views of finance. There was a conference of free-traders 
held in Saratoga, in 1877, that attributed the prevailing 
depression to the interference with freedom of trade caused 
by the tariff. In Congress in 1878 Fernando Wood, of 
New York, brought in a Democratic measure to lower the 
rates. Among the junior Republican Congressmen on his 
committee was William McKinley, of Ohio, whose appoint- 
ment to the Committee on Ways and Means Garfield had 
secured, and who had been advised by President Hayes to 
study the tariff and grow up with it. 

The new national prosperity was early shown in an in- 
crease of national revenue. There was a Treasury surplus 
of $100,000,000 in 1881 and of $145,000,000 i" xr . . 
1882. Thereafter through the decade the sur- prosperity 
plus continued in varying amounts, averaging ^^^^^^ 
$104,000,000 per year. President Garfield died 
before he had a chance to make to Congress any recommen- 


dation upon the reduction of the revenue in order to lessen 
surplus or to remove the abuses that were charged against 
it. In the closing days of his campaign the revenue system 
and the protection which was a part of it showed signs of 
coming back into politics. 

The barren political debate of 1880 was more significant 
after the Democratic candidate, Hancock, expressed him- 
self upon the tariff. Speaking at Paterson, New Jersey, on 
October 7, in reply to an inquiry for his opinion on the tariff 
he said : ''The tariff is a local question. The same question 
was brought up once in my native place in Pennsylvania. 
It is a matter that the General Government seldom cares to 
interfere with, and nothing is likely ever to be done that will 
interfere with the industries of the country." In the few 
days of the canvass that remained the tariff was much dis- 
cussed, but without extensive preparation on either side. 
Much sensitiveness was shown in manufacturing communi- 
ties. ''General Hancock posts himself for a political green- 
horn," said the New York Tribune, "Was there ever such 
twaddle shown? ... [Is] a man who considers the tariff 
question as merely local ... fit to become the first citizen 
of the United States?" Democratic pressure upon this 
theme increased as Republican irritability was revealed. 

Upon recommendation of Arthur, Congress created a 
tariff commission in 1882 to recommend action, and the de- 
Tariff ^^^^ incurred by the Republican Party in the 
commission, following autumn made it desirable to act at 

once. John L. Hayes, the chairman of the com- 
mission, was identified with the woolen industry and most 
of his associates were connected with other fields of manu- 
facture. There were few experts available for appointment 
who knew anything about the details of tariff who were not 
identified with interests affected by it. The New York 
Herald described the commission as "the product of the 
manufacturers' machine, and it is almost certain that from 
first to last it will dance to the music of the party that ' pro- 
tects* American labor." The report of the commission, 
presented to Congress in September, 1882, recommended a 


considerable reduction in tariflf rates, and Congress under- 
took the passage of a general bill to bring this about. 

The tariflf of 1883 was passed under conditions that 
brought out the difficulties of passing laws that affected 
business profits. 1 1 was enacted in the short ses- Tariff of 
slon and the two houses worked upon it simul- '^^ 
taneously, each drafting an independent bill. The Senate 
attached its draft to a bill that had already passed the 
House of Representatives for the further reduction of the 
internal revenue. The need for a reduction of the rates in 
order to lower the surplus revenue was voiced by the Ad- 
ministration. It was obstructed by the lobbies of the man- 
ufacturers, all of them more interested in protecting the prof- 
its of their several businesses than in making any scientific 
revision of the tariflf. These latter were aided by general 
arguments that were advanced defending the theory of pro- 
tection as such. Canada had in 1879 adopted a system of 
protection on a basis resembling that of Henry Clay and his 
American system. The German tariflf of 1879 was based 
upon the same assumption. 

The arguments that had been heard in the tariflf debates 
of the middle of the century were brought back into the dis- 
cussion before the debate was ended, but appear to have had 
less influence than the representations of the manufacturers. 
In neither party was there anything approaching uniformity 
of opinion, although the Republicans had an old tradition 
in favor of protection as well as most of the manufacturers 
who desired it. Randall, of Pennsylvania, former Demo- 
cratic Speaker and now leader of the minority, was as far 
away from his party associate, Beck, of Kentucky, as the 
Republican ** Pig-iron " Kelley, of Pennsylvania, was from his 
Republican colleague, Kasson, of Iowa. Regardless of party. 
Congressmen responded to the interests of their districts, and 
the tariflf that became a law in March, 1883, failed to provide 
the reduction that Arthur had urged. It was treasured by 
the Democratic opposition as another evidence of the inca- 
pacity of the Republican Party, and was used as additional 
campaign material for the approaching national election. 


The political course of Arthur surprised his critics if it did 
not conciliate them. In 1882 he vetoed a rivers and harbors 
Arthur's ^^'^ ^^^^ ^^ filled as usual with * * political pork." 
Adminis- He vetoed a Chinese exclusion bill that dis- 
regarded the existing treaty with the Chinese 
Government. He approved a law in March, 1882, for the 
more vigorous suppression of polygamy in the Mormon 
Territory, Utah. The Edmunds Act, which was directed 
at this condition, disqualified polygamists for office, jury 
service, or the franchise, and created a special commission to 
take over much of the power of government in the Territory 
until this should be accomplished. The President startled 
both his friends and his critics by giving genuine support to 
a bill for the reform of the national civil service. 

The spoils system against which the advocates of civil 
service reform directed their attacks, became entrenched in 
Civil serv- the American Government in the second quarter 
ice reform ^f ^^ nineteenth century. It was a device dis- 
covered by groups of politicians working in the larger East- 
em States about 1825. In New York and Pennsylvania 
political machines were put together, cemented by the use of 
public offices. Party workers were rewarded by appoint- 
ments to office, office-holders were expected to continue 
acting for the organization, and looked upon each election 
with certainty that if their efforts failed they could not hope 
to hold their positions. The phrase of William H. Marcy, 
"to the victors belong the spoils," was an apt expression 
of the spirit of the system and was not surpassed by Kem- 
ble's maxim, "addition, division, and silence." When the 
Democratic politicians, who had turned their machines to 
the support of Andrew Jackson, came into control of the 
national administration in 1829, they renovated the govern- 
ment by making a clean ^weep among the office-holders and 
rewarding the supporters of Jackson. 

For forty years after 1829 f^w Americans complained of 
the spoils system. Politicians who lost their jobs were sore 
at their defeat, but yielded to the maxim of Marcy with such 
philosophy as they could command. Reform for all parties 


was a thing to be attained by turning the rascals of the other 
party out of office. Some politicians were more adept than 
others in manipulating the spoils, but few disowned the 
system. Presidents complained of the waste in time in- 
volved in listening to office-seekers and their friends. Lin- 
coln protested against the burden in the months when the 
Union seemed to be falling apart, and likened himself to the 
hotel clerk whose upper floors were in flames and who was 
compelled to continue to rent new rooms instead of putting 
out the fire; but for four years Lincoln used the offices to 
sustain the Union gainst the Confederacy. 

Little is heard of reform in the civil service until the death 
of Lincoln threw the presidential patronage into the hands 
of Andrew Johnson. As a loyal Tennessee War Democrat 
Johnson strengthened the ticket in 1864, when the Republi- 
can organization called itself the Union Party, and appealed 
for the votes of all loyalists. Within a few months after the 
death of Lincoln political warfare had been declared between 
Johnson and the radical majority that controlled Congress. 
According to the precedents of a generation the radical 
majority, successful in 1864, was entitled to use the national 
offices for its own purposes. Johnson's determination to 
use them in erecting a presidential machine aroused an oppo- 
sition which in March, 1867, passed the Tenure of Office 
Bill over his veto. The President was permitted to suspend 
an officer from service, but not to remove him unless the 
Senate concurred in the removal. The new law made it 
difficult for a President to remove his enemies from office, 
while the Senate by its power to withhold confirmation of 
appointments built up a system by which each Senator in 
the majority party expected to nominate the federal officers 
appointed within his state. Johnson fought the Tenure of 
Office Act in vain. Grant protested against it, and Hayes 
forced the system into the open by his determination to re- 
move Arthur and Cornell against the will of Roscoe Conk- 
ling. A group of civil service reformers gained a hearing for 
the first time, as they pointed out the injury to the National 
Government that was inflicted whenever an officer was ap- 


pointed for party reasons instead of character and capacity. 
Thomas A. Jenckes, a Congressman from Rhode Island, 
urged the removal of the offices from politics in the middle of 
the sixties, and the reform was taken up by Godkin in the 
New York Nation, and by George William Curtis in Harper's 
Weekly. The Republican platform of 1868 assented to it 
in theory and President Grant was given a small sum for the 
inauguration of a merit system. 

The administrative scandals while Grant was President 
gave additional prominence to the need for the reform. 
The party leaders generally opposed it; Conkling sneered 
at it openly as "snivel service*' reform. Their opposition 
to it was increased when Hayes gave Carl Schurz a chance 
to experiment with it in the Indian Bureau, but there was 
no hope of a public interest that would compel the passage 
of an effective law when Hayes left office. 

The murder of Garfield, the star-route frauds, and the 
Democratic victory of 1882 on the platform of reform, pro- 
duced a situation that silenced the open enemies of the move- 
ment and made its enactment not only possible, but politi- 
cally necessary. A bill, drawn up by Senator George W. 
Pendleton, of Ohio, with the approval of the Civil Service 
Reform Association, became a law in January, 1883. It 
provided for a non-partisan commission of three, holding 
office for an indefinite term, with power to prepare eligible 
lists by examination for such offices as might be turned over 
to the commission. 

Dorman B. Eaton, secretary of the Civil Service Reform 
Association, was appointed by Arthur to inaugurate the 
operation of the law. Some thirteen thousand offices were 
placed in the classified service in the first year of the com- 
mission. Under succeeding Presidents the number was 
steadily increased as well as its proportion to the whole 
body of civil servants. By the end of the century one 
hundred thousand offices were thus safeguarded, and a 
decade later, a quarter of a million. 

The reform of the civil service, accomplished because of 
the effect of notorious scandals, could not have been delayed 


long after 1883. The new technical duties assumed by the 
United States Government were in need of trained and 
permanent staffs that had not been possible under the old 
system. A system of government by experts was not yet 
in question, but demands were being made upon govern- 
ment beyond the capacity of mere politicians. 


Fred E. Haynes, Third Party Movements since the Civil War with Special 
Reference to the State of Iowa (19 16), gives a picture of reform movements 
in the region where they were most numerous. Carl Russell Fish, The 
Civil Service and the Patronage (1904), is the standard treatise upon its 
theme. William Dudley Foulke, Fighting the Spoilsmen: Reminiscences of 
the Civil Service Reform Movement (19 19), is full of detail upon the working 
of reform. James Bryce, The American Commonwealth (1888), was written 
after many years of observation and became a standard text at once. 
Edward Stanwood, American Tariff Controversies in the Nineteenth Century 
(1903), is the work of a supporter of the protective system; F. W. Taussig, 
Tariff History of the United States, contains in its successive editions a 
series of essays upon the tariffs; Ida M. Tarbell, The Tariff in Our Time 
(191 1), reveals the personal side of tariff legislation; many useful details 
and tables are in the Report of the Tariff Commission (1882). More fun- 
damental in the light it throws upon industrial conditions is Wholesale 
Prices y Wages ^ and Transportation: Report by Mr. Aldrich from the Com- 
mittee on Finance, March 3, 1893; in 52d Cong., 2d Sess., Sen. Rep. 1394. 



John G. Carlisle, a Democratic Congressman elected from 
Kentucky in 1876, was chosen Speaker of the House of 
Tariff and Representatives when the Forty-Eighth Con- 
politics gress assembled in December, 1883. His election 
followed a controversy within the Democratic Party in 
which the rising issue of the protective tariff played the chief 
part. His leading opponent, Samuel J. Randall, was a 
protectionist from Pennsylvania, and had been Speaker of 
the Democratic Congresses of the preceding decade, when 
the tariff issue had been quiescent. The discussions begun 
in 1880 continued in the tariff legislation of 1883, and, 
stimulated by the surplus in the National Treasury, revived 
in Southern Democrats their old antipathy to a protective 
tariff. The fact that many Republicans desired tariff re- 
form added to the advantage of organizing a new Congress 
on this basis. Randall was defeated for reelection, and with 
Carlisle in the chair the South came back into control of the 
Democratic Party. It was impossible to pass a Democratic 
tariff with Arthur as President, but the threat of one in- 
creased the determination of Northern manufacturers to 
secure the nomination of a candidate in 1884 who could be 
counted upon to defend the existing system. 

Before either of the large national conventions was held, 
Benjamin F. Butler had been nominated by two of the 
Benjamin minor parties. The fusion of the greenback and 
F. Butler labor elements attempted in 1878 was not suc- 
cessful in bringing the reformers together or in establishing 
an important national party. A growing opposition to 
monopoly revived the hopes of a third-party protest based 
upon the failure of the Democratic and Republican organi- 
zations to take necessary action. On May 14, 1884, an 
anti-monopoly convention met at Chicago and two weeks 


later the remnants of the National Greenback-Labor Party 
convened at Indianapolis. The political poverty of the 
movement was shown by the nomination of Butler by both 

** Ben " Butler aroused much stormy difference of opinion 
throughout his political career. A prominent Democratic 
lawyer in Boston before the Civil War, he became a politi- 
cal major-general, whose service in command of troops in 
Virginia was regarded as grossly incompetent. His career 
at New Orleans established order there, but was noto- 
rious. Doubts as to his honesty were widespread and were 
strengthened by a brusqueness in his manner and the cyni- 
cal opinions constantly attributed to him. As a member of 
Congress he expressed an open contempt for measures of 
reform, and when the better elements of society turned 
against him, he declared himself the friend of the working- 
man. He struggled repeatedly for the governorship of 
Massachusetts, and was victorious in the. election of 1882, in 
which the Republican Party was disrupted everywhere. As 
governor of Massachusetts his notoriety was increased by 
the refusal of Harvard College to confer upon him the hon- 
orary degree that it usually bestowed upon governors of the 
State. Having left the Republican Party on the charge 
that it was faithless to the common citizen, and having 
suffered indignity from the intellectuals of his own State, 
he entered the canvass for the Democratic nomination as 
President on the issue of reform. He had earlier expressed 
his attitude upon the way to seek office: not as a maiden 
coyly and reluctantly, but as a widow who knows her own 
mind; and as "the widow" in politics Butler figured in the 
cartoons of his day. He invited the early nominations that 
he received from the smaller parties, but withheld accept- 
ance of them, hoping to secure their endorsement from the 
Democratic Party. 

The strongest Republican candidate for the nomination 
was James G. Blaine, who had a wider influ- jamcsG. 
ence than any other leader of his party, and who ^^^"« 
was not opposed by any personality of great importance. 


President Arthur desired renomination and had support 
from the professional office-holding class ; and deserved still 
more because of the character of his administration. John 
Sherman was still hopeful of receiving the distinction, but 
neither of these possessed the magnetism of Blaine, nor the 
power to interest Americans en masse. 

In his twenty years of political life Blaine had identified 
himself with the major issues that his party supported, 
without originating them. He entered Congress at the be- 
ginning of the Civil War, and established a power of parlia- 
mentary leadership that made him Speaker and kept him 
in that post for six years. His charm of manner made 
him personal friends and he cultivated the politician's gift 
of recognizing them on sight. Always an eloquent speaker, 
he was most successful upon themes arising from the Civil 
War. His short service as Secretary of State under Gar- 
field was long enough for him to show a deliberate policy, 
jingoistic in part, but including the constructive notion of 
cooperation among the Americas. After 1881 he lived gen- 
erally in Washington, working upon his Twenty Years of 
Congress (1884) and strengthening his hold upon the Re- 
publican Party as one who could bring back the glories of 
the past. 

Among the special qualifications of Blaine was the fact 
that he had many friends and followers in a racial group 
The Irish that was usually Democratic — the Irish voters, 
vote yj^g jj.jgj^ came into America in sufficient num- 

bers to affect the balance of parties during the Mexican 
War and later. Their tendency to settle in the cities 
brought them within reach of the overtures of city bosses 
who controlled the local Democratic machines, and their 
natural gift for party manipulation made them active work- 
ers from the start. A generation after the first wave of the 
Irish came, a second emigration was started, stimulated by 
the agricultural depression that prevailed in England and 
Ireland about 1879. The new Irish immigrants like the 
older filled the Eastern cities and brought to the United 
States a vigorous dislike for their mother country. 


In all the Irish immigration poverty and suffering at 
home acted as a stimulus. Non-resident ownership of their 
farms by English landlords was a constant provocative of 
misunderstanding and hard feeling. In 1879 ^^ I^sh 
Land League was organized by Michael Davitt, Charles 
Stewart Pamell, and their associates to fight the absentee 
landlord in the interest of an Irish ownership of Ireland. 
The movement aroused bitterness in England and fear 
among those whose property was threatened, but in the 
United States it was welcomed by Irish- Americans many of 
whom were both able and willing to help the cause. Pamell 
was in the United States in 1880 raising funds for the Land 
League, and was welcomed not only by the Irish, but also 
by American politicians who either sympathized with the 
Irish protest or desired the Irish vote. Blaine was one of 
the few Republican leaders to attract the Irish. The fact 
that his mother was an Irish Catholic was widely adver- 
tised. As Secretary of State he was sufficiently anti-British 
to interest the Irish, and he gave them special grounds for 
support by his vigor in working to get out of jail in Ireland 
those Irish-Americans who had returned to the old country 
to agitate in favor of the Land League. "The feeling is 
gaining ground in this country that Ireland is one of the 
United States," said the New York Tribune in 1882. The 
Chicago Inter 'Ocean had already remarked that ** this is the 
political bummers' chance." 

After the passage of the Coercion Act in March, 1881, the 
Irish Land League was broken up in Ireland, and the aim 
of the movement was shifted to home rule. The murder 
of Cavendish and Burke in the following year, and the 
prominence of the dynamiters among the Irish, advertised 
the movement still further. In April, 1883, a great con- 
vention was held in Philadelphia on the call of the Irish 
National League. Patrick Egan, of Dublin, former treas- 
urer of the Land League, who had been spirited out of Ire- 
land, made his first American appearance on this occasion, 
and Democratic leaders welcomed the opportunity to ad- 
dress the body. 


The organization attained by the Irish-Americans for 
their own sentimental and reminiscent purposes was a 
continuous temptation to American politicians to seize it 
for party purposes; and Blaine's special hold upon the Irish 
might have secured his nomination without any opposition 
had it not been for the objection of a group of independent 
Republicans desirous of reform, but distrusting him as its 

Twice before 1884 Blaine had almost had his fingers upon 
the coveted nomination. In 1876, while he was a leading 
q^jjg candidate, rumors were heard in Washington 

Mulligan that damaging letters existed that would destroy 
his character if published. On April 24 he de- 
nounced certain of the charges that connected him with the 
improper ownership of railroad bonds, and his friends be- 
lieved that he had silenced them; but the stories continued, 
and it became known that a man named Mulligan had come 
into possession of incriminating letters. Blaine visited 
Mulligan at his hotel, took the letters from him, and on 
June 5 read them in the House, interpreting as he went 
along. His spirit and courage won for him an immediate 
parliamentary victory over the forces of detraction, but five 
days later he was overcome by a sunstroke, and when the 
Republican Convention met he was in no physical condition 
to be nom'nated for the presidency. 

Much of the opposition to Blaine in 1880 was founded 
upon the belief that the Mulligan letters revealed miscon- 
duct on his part. Blaine confessed they revealed poverty 
and an attempt to eke out his income by a sale of railroad 
securities on a commission basis. The charge that was most 
difficult to explain away was that Blaine, while Speaker in 
1869, and presiding over a debate upon a land grant for the 
Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad, had shown the pro- 
moters of that land grant how to save their measure from 
defeat in Congress. The Congressional Globe and the testi- 
mony presented established the fact of this assistance. A 
few days later, as one of the Mulligan letters revealed, 
Blaine was writing to one Fisher, who was interested in this 


transaction, asking to be admitted to the enterprise and 
promising that he would not prove a "deadhead'' in the 
business. Subsequently Blaine obtained a contract for 
selling securities of this railroad upon profitable terms. 
The other letters showed that the venture was not success- 
ful, and that hard feeling was developed not only among the 
speculators, but also among those constituents of Blaine 
who bought the securities upon his recommendation. It 
was not shown that he had been bribed to perform any 
public act, but it was clear that he had asked to be re- 
warded by the beneficiaries of his official conduct, and that 
he had been willing while Speaker to trade upon the prestige 
of his office. He was at least dangerously near the margin 
of public honesty, and when the demand for a higher stand- 
ard of public conduct was created by the scandals of the 
early seventies, he was never able to square his former 
practice with the new code. 

As it became clear in 1884 that Blaine was the strongest 
candidate for the Republican* nomination, the group of in- 
dependent Republicans revived their hostility to . . 


him and let it be known that he could not re- 
ceive the support of the whole party. They were described 
by machine leaders as ** parlor and clear election-day Re- 
publicans,** and were given the nickname ''Mugwumps," 
for which the New York Sun provided an Indian etymology, 
translating the term as ''big bug, or swell head.** Theii 
"holier than thou** attitude was denounced by politicians 
with whose plans they interfered, but in New York and New 
England they had a strong influence over the selection of 
the party delegates to the convention at Chicago. 

Henry Cabot Lodge, of Massachusetts, and Theodore 
Roosevelt, of New York, made their initial national appear- 
ance as leaders of this movement against the nomination of 
Blaine. Lodge, fresh from his studies at Harvard College 
where he had lectured on history for several years in the 
later seventies, was acclaimed as an early instance of a new 
phenomenon, the scholar in politics. Roosevelt had com- 
pleted three sessions of the New York Assembly, and though 


not yet twenty-six years of age, had made himself a leader 
of the party delegation. Harper's Weekly came to the sup- 
port of the Mugwump protest. The Nation aided it, and 
a large number of Republican newspapers showed a dispo- 
sition to sympathize with it. 

When the Republican Convention met in Chicago on 
June 3, 1884, it was clear that a nomination of Blaine would 
Republican probably be followed by some kind of party 
Convention disaffection. The opposing forces were strong 
enough to secure the election of their own temporary chair- 
man, but were not able to merge their strength on any 
single candidate. The choice of the Mugwumps, Senator 
George F. Edmunds, of Vermont, was not a candidate to 
inspire personal enthusiasm even among his friends, and 
was described as the "presidential glacier** by his op- 
ponents. Blaine was nominated in spite of the continued 
opposition of the independents and received, as his com- 
panion on the ticket, General John A. Logan, a Grant sup- 
porter of 1880, who was supposed to have the same hold on 
the Grand Army of the Republic that Blaine had held over 
the Irish vote. 

The defeated opponents of Blaine were forced to choose 
between leaving the party and supporting a candidate 
whom they believed to be unworthy. Roosevelt and 
Lodge took the latter course, the others, led by Horace 
White and George W. Curtis, returned to New York, dis- 
cussing plans for a party schism, and held conferences 
within the next few days upon the best way to beat Blaine. 
The simplest method was to induce the Democratic Party, 
whose convention would be held on July 8, to nominate a 
candidate whom they could support as an honest man and 
a genuine reformer. Their attention had already been 
drawn to Governor Grover Cleveland, of New York. 

Grover Cleveland, a middle-aged country lawyer, emerged 
from civic obscurity when he was elected as mayor of Buf- 
Grover falo in 1 88 1 upon a reform ticket. A year later, 

Cleveland when the Democratic Party needed a suitable 
candidate to oppose Secretary of the Treasury Folger, the 


leaders induced the convention to accept Cleveland as a 
candidate for governor. He won by a surprisingly large 
majority, and made civil service reform a chief issue in the 
campaign and acted upon it after his election. As governor 
he aroused the hostility of the Tanmxany Democrats in 
New York City by his refusal to be a machine man and by 
supporting non-partisan measures for municipal govern- 
ment. His fighting qualities and his slow, stubborn sin- 
cerity gained him immediate rank as a leader in a party 
that had developed few national figures since the Civil War. 
The Mugwumps intimated that they would support him if 
nominated, and thus influenced the Democratic nomination, 
since that party was willing to nominate anybody to win. 
The Tanunany delegates protested in vain ^^ainst the nom- 
ination, giving point to the rejoinder of General Br^^, who 
declared that "we love him for the enemies he has made." 
He was nominated for the presidency, with Hendricks for 
the vice-presidency. 

The canvass of 1884 was one of personality rather than 
one of principle. Neither platform made an issue of any 
single theme. Republicans still harped on the The canvass 
untrustworthiness of Democrats, and Democrats ^^ '^^ 
pledged themselves to all measures of reform that might 
embarrass Republicans. The Republican platform state- 
ment on the tariff was less emphatic than the determination 
of party leaders to maintain the system. The civil service 
legislation of 1883 had lessened the value of public offices 
as a means of cementing party organization, and had made 
it difficult to raise party funds by the old methods of as- 
sessment upon office-holders. The campaign fund of 1884 
was sought from manufacturers who were interested in 
maintaining the tariff without any change or in rearranging 
the rates. B. F. Jones, of Pittsburgh, a steel manufacturer 
and a friend of Blaine, was made chairman of the Republi- 
can National Committee to direct the fight. 

The Mugwump attack upon the political character of 
Blaine encouraged Republican party organs to search for 
something discreditable in the character of Cleveland. To- 


ward the end of July they found it in improper relations 
maintained eight years earlier with a Buffalo woman, and 
immediately they described him "as a notorious libertine 
and profligate." Democratic journals rejoined with at- 
tacks upon the correctness of Blaine's marriage, but were 
silenced by Blaine's statement of facts and Cleveland's 
refusal to. countenance their move. The personalities of 
the campaign became more disgraceful as the canvass" ad- 
vanced, and increased the number of voters dissatisfied with 
either candidate. 

Butler accepted the third-party nominations after Cleve- 
land had been chosen by the Democrats, and carried on his 
candidacy with the New York Sun as his chief supporter. 
It was openly charged that the Republican Party was pay- 
ing the expenses of his campaign, in order to detach votes 
from Cleveland. Republicans, on the other hand, unwill- 
ing to support Blaine and unable to vote for Cleveland, 
showed a willingness to throw their votes away upon ex- 
Governor St. John of Kansas, whom the Prohibition Party 
nominated on July 23. St. John was denounced as a "stool- 
pigeon," whose canvass was intended to weaken Blaine. 

A few days before the election the supporters of Blaine 
arranged for a meeting of clergymen at the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel to endorse the character of the Republican candidate. 
The senior member of the group, a Catholic priest, who had 
been expected to make the* address, failed to appear, and 
a Protestant clergyman named Burchard took his place. 
Blaine, tired by the campaign and thinking over his speech 
in reply, failed to follow the speaker or to notice when he 
described contemptuously the Democratic Party as the sup- 
porters of ''rum, Romanism, and rebellion." **I am the 
last man in the United States who would make a disrespect- 
ful allusion to another man's religion," Blaine declared, when 
the evil was done and it was too late to stop it. The Demo- 
cratic papers spread the phrase "rum, Romanism, and re- 
bellion" broadcast; some even put the words into Blaine's 
own mouth in spite of his denial and Burchard's abject con- 
trition. It is impossible to say how far the Irish vote upon 


which Blaine counted was repelled by the apparent insult. 
When the ballots were finally counted, Cleveland and 
Hendricks were elected by a plurality of 23,000 over Blaine 
and Logan ; though with a minority of all the votes cast. 
The small pluralities by which Cleveland carried various 
Irish precincts in New York gave plausibility to the asser- 
tion that Blaine might well have been elected had there 
been no Burchard episode. 


Harrison C. Thomas, The Return of the Democratic Party to Power in 1884 
(1919), is founded upon a careful study of the available sources. It should 
be supplemented by the biographies of Blaine by Gail Hamilton and 
Edward Stanwood, and the brilliant essay by Gamaliel Bradford in the 
Atlantic MoniMy (1920). The antecedents of the Mugwump movement 
are carefully traced in Earle D. Ross, The Liberal Republican Movement 
(1919). The lack of an authoritative biography of Cleveland will shortly 
be filled by an official biography now in preparation by Robert M. 
McElroy. G. F. Parker, Recollections of Grover Cleveland (1909), and 
Richard Watson Gilder, Grover Cleveland, A Record of Friendship (19 10), 
are of considerable value. William C. Hudson, Random Recollections of 
an Old Political Reporter (191 1), contains interesting gossip on this cam- 
paign. Harry Thurston Peck, Twenty Years of the Republic (1907), be- 
gins its narrative with the Cleveland Administration. 



After a period of twenty-four years in opposition, the 
Democratic Party returned to only partial control of the 
Government in 1885. Its President was a Northern Demo- 
crat, selected because of his ability to widen the schism in 
the Republican Party. The House of Representatives was 
under the control of Southern Democrats, who reelected 
John G. Carlisle as Speaker when Congress reassembled in 
December. The Senate remained Republican throughout 
the administration, making it impossible for party legisla- 
tion to be enacted, but favoring somewhat the passage of 
non-partisan laws that had to do with the management of 
the national estate. 

The Cabinet of Cleveland had at its head Thomas F. 
Bayard, of Delaware, a Senator since 1869, who had been 
Cleveland's a Candidate for the presidential nomination in 
Cabinet jgSo and 1884. His father had preceded him 
in the Senate, and his family had been famous in the 
State and National administrations since independence. 
Under his direction the United States, withdrew from the 
aggressive attitude assumed by Blaine with respect to the 
isthmian canal, and accepted the status of joint interest 
as agreed upon in the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. The re- 
maining members of the Cabinet were untested leaders, 
necessarily so, since their party had been so long in oppo- 
sition. Daniel Manning, Secretary of the Treasury, was a 
New York journalist. William C. Whitney, Secretary of 
the Navy, was a New York anti-Tammany lawyer and 
son-in-law of Senator Payne, a Standard Oil magnate from 
Ohio. Lamar, the Secretary of the Interior, and Gar- 
land, the Attorney-General, had been Confederate officers. 
William F. Vilas, of Wisconsin, whose oration at a reunion 
of the Army of the Tennessee had made him a leading mem- 


ber of his party, was made Postmaster-General. There was 
nothing in the personnel of the Cabinet to give a clue as to 
what its policies would be. 

The Republican campaign charges of disloyalty in the 
Democratic Party had included repeated assertions that 
the Democratic Party proposed to vote national civil War 
pensions for Confederate veterans who had tried ?«*»»<>"« 
to break the Union. The votes of former Union soldiers 
were asked to prevent such treason, and to make possible 
continued generous treatment of the loyal veterans. The 
attitude of the Cleveland Administration with reference to 
pensions was watched for signs of hostility to the men who 
saved the Union. Cleveland's record as a candidate had 
been seriously attacked because he had not enlisted in the 
Civil War, although of military age, but this attack had 
been weakened by the fact that Blaine of similar age was 
equally without a military record. The Grand Army of the 
Republic, which was formed in April, 1866, at Springfield, 
Illinois, now became the official representative of the vet- 
erans of the Civil War. Its growth had been slow for a 
decade, until after Congress passed an arrears of pensions 
bill in 1879. 

The military pension system of the United States was 
founded upon the principle that disability incurred in the 
service entitled the veteran to a pension from the Govern- 
ment. The number of pensionei's after the Civil War 
reached a total of 242,755 by 1879. In this year Hayes 
agaiinst his better judgment signed a law providing that 
every pensioner was entitled to receive his annuity not from 
the date of the award, but from the date of mustering out. 
Every pensioner on the rolls thus became entitled to re- 
ceive arrears of pension to cover the interval between his 
discharge and the beginning of regular payment, running 
to a total of hundreds or even thousands of dollars in in- 
dividual cases. The financial effect of this law had not even 
been estimated at the date of its passage. In addition to 
the back payments entailed, new pensioners appeared upon 
the rolls in large numbers, tempted by the heavy and in- 


creasing bonus of arrears. Pension attorneys, who secured 
the affidavits and prepared the papers, charged extortionate 
fees against the arrears, and were incited to hunt out possi- 
ble pensioners and induce them to file their claims. Some 
of the firms of attorneys published private newspapers for 
propaganda work among the soldiers, and all of them en- 
couraged the expansion and development of the Grand 
Army of the Republic, which was not for them a patriotic 
order, but a machine for detecting the presence of new pen- 
sioners and for bringing political pressure in favor of even 
greater liberality. For its members the Grand Army was 
a patriotic and devotional society; the claims attorneys 
used it to increase their profits. The membership of the 
Grand Army grew rapidly after 1879. Corporal James 
Tanner became its commander in 1882, and a campaign was 
started for the passage of a new general law for the payment 
of pensions based not upon disability in the service, but 
upon subsequent disability or upon service alone. A de- 
pendents' pension bill vetoed by Cleveland in 1887 brought 
him under the displeasure of the promoters of such legis- 

The private pension bill was a greater abuse than the 
general legislation because in hundreds of cases individuals 
not entitled to pension by any general rule obtained the 
friendly intervention of their Congressmen to secure the 
favor by direct special legislation. The private bills in- 
cluded cases of deserters with the effrontery to seek aid 
from the country they had betrayed ; and trumped-up cases, 
where the evidence frequently showed reasons why the pen- 
sion should not be granted. Many of them covered cases 
that had been disallowed by the Commissioner of Pensions 
for cause. Cleveland was the first President to examine 
the private pension bills critically and to veto those that 
were unworthy. Toward the end of his Administration he 
vetoed them by the score, arousing professed indignation 
among Republicans, who claimed that the vetoes revealed 
lack of interest in the soldier. The Republican Party 
pledged itself to more generous treatment, and redeemed 


the promise, after Harrison had made Corporal Tanner 
Commissioner of Pensions, by passing a dependents* pen- 
sion law in 1890. 

The willingness of Cleveland to perform ungracious acts 
of public honesty led him to undertake a reform of the ad- 
ministration of the General Land Office, which Public land 
had been wide open since the passage of the ^^^^^^ 
Homestead Law, and which had been administered "to 
the advantage of speculation and monopoly, private and 
corporate, rather than in the public interest/' '* I am satis- 
fied," said Sparks, the Commissioner of the Land Office, 
**that thousands of claims without foundation in law or 
equity, involving millions of acres of public land, had been 
annually passed to patent upon the single proposition that 
nobody but the Government had any adverse interests." 
"Cleveland seems determined that the rith shall obey tJie 
laws as well as the poor," said the Idaho Avalanche. 

The national estate of the United States came into ex- 
istence when the original States ceded their surplus lands 
to Congress to be used for the benefit of the Union and for 
the creation of additional States. Subsequent purchases 
added to the area of the public domain thus created. With 
the exception of the thirteen original States and the first 
three to be admitted, Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee, 
and West Virginia and Texas, making eighteen in all, the 
United States itself provided the land upon which its com- 
monwealths were erected. In disposing of the land to in- 
dividual owners, two general policies prevailed; the ear- 
lier, a tidewater policy, framed under the dominance of the 
original States, offered lands for sale and assumed that there 
would be profits accruing from the process to be used for 
national advantage. 

In 1841 the West itself became the controlling element 
in land distribution, marking its arrival by the passage of 
a general preemption law that recognized that the settler 
who made a farm out of virgin land was a public benefactor 
entitled to a reward. Squatters who were found in residence 
when any tract of public land was placed on the market 


were allowed to buy their land at a minimum price in ad- 
vance of the public auction sale. The West continued to 
ask for still more liberal treatment of the settler, and in 
1862 Congress accepted the principle of the Homestead 
Act, whereby the citizen who made his farm and lived upon 
it for a term of years was given title to it free of charge. 

The Homestead Law drew the attention of all the 
world to the free lands of the West, while the continental 
railroads, constructed after the Civil War, made them 
easily accessible. The rush of population swamped the 
General Land Office, as it did the Post-Office, and both 
broke down, partly through fraud and partly through the 
lack of an intelligent civil service. Abuses in the land 
system were noted in the three administrations preceding 
Cleveland's, and became more imposing as the area of free 
land dwindled around 1885. 

The principal abuses that needed to be corrected in- 
cluded frauds in the homestead system, fraudulent pre- 
emption, theft of public land by illegal enclosures, theft of 
the natural resources, timber or mineral, and the fraudu- 
lent attempts of railroads to secure their land grants with- 
out complying with the terms of the award. 

The theory of the land laws was that the lands were to 
be disposed of in small tracts for immediate occupancy and 
cultivation. Everything was done to make it difficult to 
acquire land for speculative purposes or to build up large 
holdings. The system worked well in farming regions in 
the Mississippi Valley, but on the Western plains, where 
large areeis were without sufficient rainfall, it made no pro- 
vision for the only way in which the lands could be used. 
Here the lands were needed in large tracts for grazing and 
timber purposes and could not well be used in section tracts 
or less. 

The Homestead and Preemption Laws were repeatedly 
violated in the interest of persons who were building up large 
estates on the public domain. Sparks, the new Commis- 
sioner of the General Land Office, took office toward the 
end of March, 1885, and a few days later began his attack 


upon fraudulent and collusive entries by suspending final 
action upon any of the Western entries until the cases could 
be reexamined. Every entry on the public domain was 
founded upon local testimony and filed at a local office, 
where it was possible that the local agents might be in 
collusion with fraud. Only by means of inspection directed 
from Washington could these frauds be detected. The 
affidavits showing that entries had been cultivated needed 
to be checked up by inspection to determine whether this 
was a fact. Proof that residences had been built needed 
to be cross-examined. In more than one case the entry- 
men of four adjacent quarter sections erected one small 
and temporary sod house over the common comer of the 
four sections, after which each entryman separately swore 
to the existence of a dwelling upon his section. 

The Homestead Law permitted the entryman, who did 
not desire to serve out the required period of residence, to 
commute his entry and purchase the land on the basis of pre- 
emption. In a multitude of cases these commuted entries 
were made at the earliest legal date, and local deed books 
showed that adjacent sections were all immediately trans- 
ferred to a single holder, who thus became the owner of a 
greater acreage than the law permitted. It was common 
gossip on the plains that new employees on the ranches were 
induced to file homestead or preemption claims on ad- 
joining territory, and sell the claim to the owner. This 
sort of collusive work constituted a fraud upon the Govern- 
ment which could not be detected except by inspection. 
The number of inspectors authorized by law was so small 
that the order of Sparks, holding up the final passage of 
claims until they were examined, filled the office with 
thousands of pending cases. The protests of honest entry- 
men against this proceeding were mingled with those of the 
land robbers, whose work was interfered with. 

The illegal enclosure of public lands involved nearly 
five million acres of known cases before Cleveland became 
President. In February, 1885, Arthur signed a law for the 
removal of fences from the public domain. In some case^ 


tracts of several thousand acres were enclosed in wire fences 
by the cattle-men without a shadow of legal title. In other 
instances the encloser would acquire title to a . string of 
sections through which passed a stream suitable for pur- 
poses of stock-watering, and would then enclose the grazing 
lands of the neighborhood that still belonged to the Gov- 
ernment. The sanctity of the fence was such that this 
illegal possession prevented honest homesteaders from en- 
tering on the lands thus enclosed. Some States upheld the 
theft and even exacted taxes from the illegal holders of such 
lands. Mail-carriers on the plains reported to the Post- 
master-General that they were sometimes forced to deviate 
from the direct trail as much as twenty or thirty miles be- 
cause of the existence of a fence. They were afraid to cut 
the wire and go across the enclosure because of threats 
made by the fence-buildefs. In August, 1885, Cleveland 
issued a proclamation against the illegal enclosures, and 
agents of the Land Office were turned loose against the fences. 

The theft of natural resources from the public domain 
was universal, but a more important cause of loss was the 
fact that the land laws did not make proper provision for the 
use of timber, minerals, and fuel. The resources of the 
United States leisted so long that great stores of unused 
wealth passed unintentionally into private hands, by means 
of the homestead and preemption entries that were intended 
only for s^ricultural purposes. 

The failure of the continental railroads to complete the 
construction of their lines in accordance with the terms 
Railroad of their land grants brought up the question of 
land grants auditing these grants and returning the unearned 
balances to the public domain. In 1882 the time limit of 
the last outstanding grant expired. This was the grant of 
the Texas Pacific, which, like the Atlantic and Pacific, whose 
time limit expired in 1878, had hardly begun the guaranteed 
construction. The struggle of the interested roads to secure 
unearned lands or to gain extensions of time, or to procure 
the transfer of the lands to other roads actually built in the 
vicinity, was met by an attempt in Congress to forfeit them 


entirely. The courts held that the unearned grants could 
not be returned to the public domain for private entry with- 
out additional legislation. The accounts had not been kept 
with accuracy and there was legal question as to whether 
the roads were entitled to receive any land opposite even 
their completed miles^e, if they failed to finish the whole 
line on time. The issuance of further lands was brought 
to an end by Arthur. Under Cleveland Congress declared 
forfeited the unearned grants and in 1888 the Democrats 
boasted in their campaign textbook that Cleveland had 
restored fifty-one million acres of railway land to the pub- 
lic domain. 

The wave of prosperity begun about 1879 was temporarily 
checked by financial troubles in 1884. A panic in May of 
that year produced numerous failures affecting panic of 
chiefly the stock gamblers in Wall Street. Sev- ^^^'^ 
eral banks collapsed and numerous brokers were involved, 
including the firm of Grant and Ward, whose fate aroused 
wide public interest because General Grant was its figure- 
head. Grant went into business after his failure to secure 
the nomination in 1880, and attached himself to a firm of 
brokers, knowing nothing of the trade and little about his 
partners. The collapse of his firm was due to their incom- 
petence and dishonesty. They had fraudulently promoted 
their business by alleging that Grant's position enabled them 
to control valuable Government contracts. ''The failure," 
said the Nation, **is the most colossal that ever took place 
among merely private firms in the United States and one of 
the most disgraceful. . . . The misfortune of the position 
into which General Grant allowed himself to get is, that it en- 
ables people to libel him with impunity." No one believed 
that Grant was himself guilty of misconduct, but his mis- 
fortune called attention to the panic and to the unsatis- 
factory condition of American finance. 

The Bland- Allison Act of 1878 had been in force for six 
years, in every month of which the Secretary of cheap sil- 
the Treasury had been obliged to buy at least ^^^ money 
two million dollars' worth of silver bullion to be coined into 


standard dollars at the ratio of sixteen to one, and which 
were to be legal tender. Each Secretary had protested 
£^ainst the law as weakening the stability of national credit. 
The cheap silver dollars thus coined, which were worth 
eighty-five cents in 1884, were unpopular; and since few 
citizens called for them, they were left reposing in the Treas- 
ury vaults. The Government had the power to force them 
into circulation, but refrained from doing so because un- 
willing to promote such depreciation in the currency. The 
large annual surplus was great enough to provide for the 
purchase of this silver and to allow it to be stored away un- 
used ; but as the silver aissets in the Treasury exceeded those 
of gold at the time of the panic, a fear developed that ul- 
timately the United States would have to force the use of 
the cheap dollars. The Topeka Commonwealth complained 
of the existence of five thousand tons of silver dollars in the 
Treasury, "and yet neither party has the courage to say that 
the coinage should stop, because the bonanza kings have 
bullion to sell, and there are demagogues who cry for cheap 
money." A convention of silver miners held in Denver in 
January, 1885, demanded free coins^e; Cleveland at once 
announced his approval of Arthur's recommendation that 
the coinage should be stopped. The fear of cheap money, 
intensified by the suspicion that the partners of Grant 
were not the only financial crooks at large, helped to retard 
recovery from the crisis. 

The panic brought Grant into the public eye once more, 
with the scandals of his Administration forgotten, and with 
Death of universal affection as the dominant note. His 
Grant poverty, for he turned all of his property over 

to his creditors at once, aroused general sympathy. One of 
the Vanderbilts advanced funds for his immediate need, for 
the repayment of which Grant insisted upon pledging his 
war trophies and the valuable gifts he had received upon his 
trip around the world. Ill health was added to his mis- 
fortune, and as the rumor spread that his life was soon to 
end, Congress revived the office of General of the Army of 
the United States, and Arthur issued the commission in 


Grant's name as one of his last public acts. Grant had 
meanwhile discovered a means of earning money. At the 
request of the editors of the Century he prepared an article 
on the battle of Shiloh, which was published in February, 
1885. In the next six months he completed on a sick bed the 
manuscript of his Personal Memoirs that earned a fortune 
for his family and that took rank at once among the greatest 
military narratives. He died in July, 1885. 


There are two excellent treatises on the pension system, W. H. Glasson, 
Federal Military Pensions in the United States (19 18), and John W. Oliver, 
History of the Civil War Military Pensions ( 1 9 1 7) . The abuses of the system 
are best described in the laconic messages of President Cleveland, in J. D. 
Richardson (ed.)i Messages and Papers of the Presidents (1896-99). No 
adequate account of the administration of the public lands has been 
written, but the annual reports of the Commissioner of the General Land 
Office contain valuable though partisan summaries, while Thomas C. 
Donaldson, The Public Domain (1881), is an accumulation of indispen- 
sable statistics. Shosuke Sato, History of the Land Question in the United 
States (1886), was prepared for the information of the Japanese Govern- 
ment and was printed in the Johns Hopkins University Studies. 



The American bonanza kings, whose sudden fortunes, de- 
rived from the mines of California and Colorado, startled 
The cattle society after the Civil War, had as later rivals 
*""8* the cattle kings, who entered society with the 

first great fortunes derived from agricultural pursuits since 
the cotton planters of the old South. Their appearance and 
their later disappearance were due to the interplay of forces 
that began to operate when the continental railroads reached 
the eastern margin of the great plains and which weakened 
when the completion of these railroads had destroyed the 
open range. The cow country, where the cattle kings had 
their domain, played no part in American life before 1865, 
and by 1890 it was gone forever, after bringing a new phase 
of civilization into existence and letting loose new movements 
in society. 

The food supply of the United States, ordinarily the least 
of its troubles, was generally provided by regions near to the 
American place of consumption. A few commodities not 
food supply produced within the United States or raised there 
in insufficient amount, like sugar, tea, and coffee, were always 
imported. The plantation South preferred to devote its 
attention to its staple crops, cotton and tobacco, and im- 
ported flour and wheat from other sections of the Union. 
Cincinnati became '*Porkopolis" before the Civil War, and 
retained permanently its important trades in fats and their 
by-products. But most of America raised its own food, 
ground its wheat in the local mill, and lived on a narrow 
but sufficient diet of local origin. 

One influence of the railroads was to broaden the diet 
and to introduce direct competition among the farmers. 
The center of the wheat industry swung toward the north- 
west, from central New York to the prairies of Illinois and 


Iowa, and thence, with the completion of the Northern 
Pacific Railroad and the Canadian Pacific (1885), to the 
Red River country and the region beyond the Great Lakes. 
The water power near the junction of the Minnesota and the 
Mississippi Rivers provided the basis for the flour indus- 
tries of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which were aided by the 
ownership of the patent rights for the roller process, and 
became a center of world supply before 1880. The re- 
frigerator cars introduced in the later sixties widened the 
market for the citrus fruits of Florida and California, and 
made possible an all-year-round traffic in fresh vegetables 
that relieved the United States from the dominance of 
seasonal foods and salt meats. The great plains, not yet 
occupied by farmers, became the basis of a wholesale cattle 

About 1866 it was discovered that cattle could winter on 
the northern plains without shelter and be better fitted 
for butchering than before the exposure. The wild cattle 
of the plains of central Texas flourished in the milder climate 
in huge herds, but were slight and stringy, and were slaugh- 
tered chiefly for their hides during the sixties, when the 
buffalo herd was being extinguished to supply the demand 
for buffalo robes. But the long-horned, long-enduring Texas 
cow, though making poor beef, was the mother of sturdy 
calves, and when the strain was crossed by Hereford or 
shorthorn sires, the calves could be fattened into prime beef 
while losing little of the resisting power of the native stock. 

The Union Pacific Railroad building west across Nebraska 
reached the open plains in 1866, just as it was discovered that 
cattle could winter there. One of its stations, Ogallala, 
was seized by the new industry as a convenient shipping- 
point for plains-fed stock. As the trade developed, the 
cattle were bred upon the Texas plains between Fort Worth 
and the Rio Grande. They roamed, unfenced and with little 
care, until each spring they were rounded up at convenient 
centers by the owners of the several herds, and as the young 
calves trotted after their mothers toward the great pens, they 
were seized and branded with the brand of the owner. The 


heifers and the mothers were turned loose again. The young 
steers were kept together and were sold to Northern cattle- 

The "long drive" began in central Texas and ran a little 
west of north through the panhandle of Texas and the Chero- 
The "long kee country adjoining it into Kansas and thence 
*^^^" to Ogallala and the railroad in Nebraska. A 

little later, when the Northern Pacific had been constructed 
to the Yellowstone, the stations of Glendive and Miles 
City on that river lengthened the drive and reduced the im- 
portance of Ogallala. The herds of cattle left the round-up 
camp in the custody of gangs of cowboys, who steered 
them slowly up the drive. At Dodge City in southwestern 
Kansas, where the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa F6 Railroad 
touched the old Spanish boundary at the one-hundredth 
meridian, the Southern cowboys often turned their charges 
over to the crews provided by the Northern buyers, who 
guarded the herds to their destination. 

Every year after 1866 larger herds were bred in Texas 
and driven north, costing their owners only the trifling 
charge for stock-tending, living on the public domain, and 
grazing on Government grass. It was possible to ship the 
fattened animals to the slaughter-houses at Chicago and 
Kansas City, and make great profits for the cattle-men at 
the same time that the beef was distributed to the E^t and 
to Europe at prices lower than local beef could be obtained. 
Fresh meat became a more important item of American 
food than it had ever been before. The agricultural de- 
pression in Europe in the later seventies was intensified by 
the competition of the cheap American foods. 

Beef became a new article of commerce and brought into 
existence new forms of commercial organization that in- 
Chicago tensified the cry against monopoly. In every 
stockyards American city of importance the local slaughter- 
house had been a problem because it was a necessary evil. 
Always offensive to the neighborhood, there was no way of 
doing without it, but its presence was commonly restricted 
by local ordinances. In Chicago in 1865 the numerous local 


stockyards were merged into a single union stockyard on 
the western margin of the city, and there it was proposed to 
concentrate the local traffic. Almost immediately there be- 
gan the endless procession of stock-cars laden with Western 
steers that were to force the conversion of the butchers' 
business into a national industry. The stockyards district 
was of necessity enlarged. To the slaughter-houses there 
were added a chain of packing-houses, where the meat that 
could not be refrigerated and shipped fresh was tinned or 
converted into some other form of preserved meat. The 
ice machine and the tin-can machine were active agents in 
the development of the new trade. Around the packing- 
houses there arose a network of by-product factories that 
utilized the hides and hair, the horns and hoofs, and even 
the blood of the animals, and increased in number as in- 
dustrial chemistry solved the new problems of manufacture. 
The Chic2^o stockyards became the center of a world of its 
own, where the names of Armour, Swift, Hammond, Morris, 
Libby, and McNeal represented the forces of control, and 
where unskilled labor of foreign extraction did much of the 

The invasion of Chicago beef was resented by local butch- 
ers, who formed protective associations in all parts of the 
United States and tried in vain to stay the revolution in 
their industry. The cry of monopoly was raised against the 
packers, not only by the butchers who could not meet their 
competition, but by the stock-men, who believed that il- 
legal combinations held down the price of steers. The rail- 
roads welcomed the new industry, which created a demand 
for transportation, but soon found themselves obliged to 
meet the dickering propensities of the packers, as they were 
already obliged to meet those of the oil monopoly. By 
playing off one road against the other, the larger packers 
secured for themselves special rates and rebates, and drove 
from the business many of their less skillful competitors. 

The Eastern butchers could only scold against the monop- 
oly. Their trade in its older form was doomed to speedy 
extinction. The cattle-men on the Western plains were 


more able to take steps to fight the packers* monopoly, 
Cattle and there arose in Nebraska and Dakota great 

ranches ranches where the cattle, driven up from the 

plains, were held for the market. In the first decade of the 
cow country the cattle were shipped East as soon as stock- 
cars could be had at Ogallala or Glendive to handle them. 
When the Chics^o price was high, the cars were hard to get. 
When the market broke, the cowmen had no option but to 
ship their steers and to accept the price fixed by the packers 
at the Chicago yards. By fencing in a ranch along the 
Northern Pacific, it was possible to reduce the cost of stock- 
tending and to hold the steers without great loss for a year 
or more. The fact that the land law provided no means 
for the acquisition of such ranches did not prevent their 
growth. Some were bought openly from the railroads, 
others were acquired in collusion or abuse of the Home- 
stead and Preemption Laws, or were deliberately fenced in 
without a shadow of right. Eastern capital was drawn into 
the profitable business, until by 1885 there were more cattle 
on the plains than the market could absorb, and the industry 
was threatened by losses due to glutting the market. Most 
famous among the Northern ranches was that at Chimney 
Butte on the Little Missouri in Dakota, which Theodore 
Roosevelt bought while he was in the New York Assembly, 
and which remained his playground throughout the decade. 

From its beginning in 1866 the cattle industry on the 
open plains developed until by 1880 it was world-famous and 
European capitalists began to invest in ranches of their own. 
The sympathy with Ireland in her land controversies made 
these holdings a matter of public concern in the United 
States, and some observers thought they could detect a 
danger of alien landlordism in America. The real danger 
was the destruction of the industry by its own internal 

Every year after 1866 the flood of homesteaders washed 
farther out upon the plains, and the fences of the farmers 
— or **nesters," as the cowboys called them — narrowed 
the eeistem limits of the range. Every year the enclosures 


restricted the freedom of the '* long drive." The wire fences 
broke up the unity of the grazing lands, and the £„j ^j 
efforts of the cowmen to safeguard themselves the "long 
by these made it more difficult to drive their 
stock. As the open drive was restricted, experiments were 
made in shipping the cattle north, but the natural courses 
of the railroads did not serve this traffic. By 1884 still 
another obstruction appeared. As early as 1879 the British 
Government forbade the importation of American cattle 
on the ground that they were often diseased, and in addi- 
tion to being unfit for consumption, were likely to contami- 
nate the British herds. Texas fever came to be talked about, 
together with hoof-and-mouth disease and tuberculosis. 
The State of Kansas passed a, quarantine law in 1885, for- 
bidding the driving of Texas cattle into the State, and 
guards with shotguns patrolled the border of the State, to 
maintain the law. The next year Colorado passed a similar 
law and effectively closed the drive. 

Associations of cattle-men saw the impending termina- 
tion of the business. In 1884 they held two conventions, 
one at Chicago where the stock-men were chiefly concerned 
with the new dairy interests of Illinois and Wisconsin, and 
one at St. Louis, where the Western dealers discussed their 
future. In the latter convention they turned instinctively 
to Washington, as the frontier has always done. They pre- 
sented a request for the erection of a national cattle trail 
from central Texas to the Canadian line, wide enough for 
the herds to find abundant pastures and forever to be with- 
held from private entry or state restriction. '* As the Indian 
gave way to the pioneer," said a speaker at one of the cattle 
conventions, "so must the cowboy go before the settler, 
and the ranche take the place of the range, until the eight 
million acres of land now grazed by cattle shall teem with 
villages and model farms for the cultivation of refined cat- 
tle cared for, not by cowboys with revolvers, but cowboys 
with brains." After 1885 the cow country was gone and the 
beef industry underwent a long reorganization. 

The charges of the cattle-men that the railroads treated 


them unfairly and that the packers operated a selfish 
Interstate monopoly added to the complaints that grew in 
commerce volume through the eighties and that led toward 
an assertion of national power over the railroads. The fact 
that the continental systems were substantially complete 
by 1884 and that the country was beginning to regret its 
generosity in the land grants gave further impetus to the 
same movement. The Senate in 1885 yielded to the pres- 
sure. A select committee on interstate commerce, with 
Shelby M. Cullom, of Illinois, as chairman, was directed 
to make inquiries into the needs for regulation and the 
methods of accomplishing it. 

The earliest important movement for railroad regulation 
in the interest of fair play and of the community served by 
the road, arose in the States northwest of Chicago about 
1873. The railroads in this region preceded much of the 
population instead of following it, and were not restrained 
by parallel and competing water routes or well-established 
highways. The export surplus of the region was chiefly 
grain, for hauling and storing which the railroad companies 
and the terminal elevators which they controlled frankly 
charged ''all the traffic would bear." In the flush years 
between 1865 and 1872 the Northwestern farmer made 
money in spite of the rising value of the greenbacks and the 
high freight tariffs of the railroads. The depression of 1873 
intensified the greenback movement and caused the farm- 
ers to join by hundreds of thousands a new society, the 
Patrons of Husbandry. 

The Patrons of Husbandry were organized in 1867 as an 
agricultural benevolent society, but found few interested 
jjjg supporters for half a decade. The National 

Granger Grange, as their central organization was called, 

was composed of delegates from the State 
Granges, and these in turn gathered in the representatives 
of the local Granges, to which the farmers belonged. The 
Granger movement became a reality when the farmers be- 
came aware of their dissatisfaction, sought for a means of 
venting it, and found in the mechanism of the local Grange 


a tool ready to be used. The membership of the Patrons of 
Husbandry began to grow after 1870. In the ensuing State 
elections candidates found it prudent to avow their interest 
in the regulaton of the railroad rates, which was the chief 
subject of discussion in the Granger gatherings. State laws 
were passed, culminating in the Potter Law of Wisconsin in 
1874, which asserted the right of the Commonwealth to reg- 
ulate the railroads' charge for service. The railroads of the 
Granger district ignored the legislation when they could and 
fought the Granger laws with all the legal powers at their 
disposal. Most of the laws were faulty, being based upon 
hostility to the roads, rather than upon an understanding 
of their business, but the Supreme Court of Wisconsin ap- 
proved the theory of the Potter Law, and in March, 1877, the 
Supreme Court of the United States in a series of Granger 
cases upheld the common-law right of a State to r^^late its 
railroads. The case of Munn vs. Illinois was the basic case 
in connection with which the decision was handed down. 
Most of the States followed the precedent of the Granger 
legislatures and passed rate-fixing laws or created railroad 
commissions before 1885. The problem was gradually 
lifted out of the field of class politics into that of economic 
investigation. In the Windom Report made to the Sen- 
ate in 1873, and the Hepburn Report made to the New 
York Legislature at the end of the decade, and in the annual 
reports of the various railroad commissions, data were ac- 
cumulated upon which to found the conviction that the 
railroads needed to be regulated, and that no single State 
was powerful enough to do it. In a case decided in 1885 
the Supreme Court reached this latter conclusion, and 
declared that the regulation by a State of any portion of 
an interstate journey was an infringement upon the exclu- 
sive powers of Congress over interstate commerce. The 
whole machinery of regulation was thus threatened. The 
completion of the continental railroads at the same time 
broadened the conviction of a need for regulation, and the 
CuUom committee, reporting in January, 1886, made a 
3imilar recommendation to Congress. 


An Interstate Commerce Act was passed in February, 
1887, forbidding combinations among the railroads and 
creating a non-partisan Interstate Commerce Commission 
to investigate and report upon grievances against the roads. 
The pooling of freight receipts by competing roads was 
prohibited, and they were forbidden to charge more for a 
short haul than for a longer haul over the same track in the 
same direction. The attempt to force the roads to compete 
with each other for their business was in part nullified by 
this 'Mong-and-short-haul clause," because since no two 
roads between competing points rendered their service 
under precisely the same conditions, it was sometimes im- 
possible for the longer road to compete for through traffic 
without fixing a rate for its long-haul service which would 
have been ruinous if applied to its whole business. Judge 
Thomas M. Cooley, of Michigan, became the guiding spirit 
of the Interstate Commerce Commission, and formulated 
the principles upon which it operated until its powers were 
revised in 1906. 

Another non-partisan measure inspired by the impor- 
tance of the agricultural problem was the creation of a De- 
Department partment of Agriculture with a seat in the 
of Agri- Cabinet. There had been a department of that 

name since 1862, but with subordinate rank 
under the Interior Department. It was enlarged in 1884 
by the addition of a Bureau of Animal Industry for the 
purpose of controlling cattle disease and lessening the dan- 
ger of its spread. Cleveland signed the bill creating a new 
department, of which ex-Governor Jeremiah M. Rusk, of 
Wisconsin, was appointed Secretary by President Harrison. 
In 1890 it was given the duty to inspect cattle and fresh 
meat offered for export. The reluctance of European Gov- 
ernments to concede the sanitary character of American 
foods forced this action upon Congress. The consequence 
of the inspection service was an extension of the technical 
duties of the United States, and was one of the facts tend- 
ing to change the nature of the National Government. 

Further examination of the remaining natural resources 


was authorized at the same time. Ten years earlier the 
survey work of the Interior and War Departments had 
been combined in the Geological Survey in the Department 
of the Interior. Under the direction of Clarence Kmg and 
Major J. W. Powell it turned the resources of science upon 
public lands. Powell's report upon the arid regions was 
followed in 1889 by appropriations for the survey of all 
the sites available for the construction of reservoirs and 
irrigation projects. The Preemption Law, whose abuse 
was an old nuisance, was repealed in 1891. 


Ethelbert Talbot, My People of the Plains (1906), gives a sympathetic 
picture of the spirit of the vanishing frontier, which was also caught by 
Owen Wister, The Virginian (1902). The cattle industry is described in 
Emerson Hough, The Story of the Cowboy (1897); Clara M. Love, "History 
of the Cattle Industry in the Southwest," in Southwestern Historical Quar- 
terly (1916); and F. L. Paxson, *'The Cow Country,'* in American His- 
torical Review, October, 1916. Edward W. Martin (pseud, for J. D. 
McCabe), History of the Grange Movement (1874), is a contemporary sub- 
scription history that was circulated among the farmers. The Granger 
movement is exhaustively treated in Solon J. Buck, The Granger Movement 
(19 13). The Windom Report on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard is in 
43d Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Rep. 307. The CuUom Report of Senate Com- 
mittee on Interstate Commerce is in 49th Cong., ist Sess., Sen. Rep. 46. 
Joseph Gilpin Pyle, The Life of James J. Hill (19 17), contains much material 
upon frontier problems. 



The spirit of the open frontier passed out of American 
life forever in the decade of the eighties, leaving behind it 
Frontier survivals that lasted for another generation, and 
spirit inducing the development of substitutes to take 

its place. The frontier while it lasted was a social safety- 
valve that prevented the rise of social pressure or class an- 
tagonism to the danger point. Not only upon the western 
margin of the United States, but in every State farm land 
was either free or cheap, and invited each generation to 
enlarge the area of settlement and erect new homes. There 
was no chance for the socially discontented to become nu- 
merous or ominous. No oppressed lower class could be 
created in a community in which any young man with rea- 
sonable nerve and luck might hope to be an independent 
farmer before he was thirty. All American society was 
close to its frontier origin, and the man of affairs, wherever 
he found himself, normally looked back to his boyhood on 
the farm. 

The influence of universal farm life with independence 
within easy reach of all gave its peculiar aspect to the 
American character. The more picturesque life upon the 
actual frontier provided the theme that men of letters 
grasped in the second quarter of the century. James Fen- 
imore Cooper with his romances of the frontier made himself 
a lasting place in American letters. His Deerslayer and 
Chingachgook were unreal portraits, but they coincided 
with what his Eastern readers thought the West to be, and 
perpetuated the spirit of the frontier life. 

In one form or another this spirit permeated American 
society, and when the creative force was stopped, its sur- 
vivals carried on the legend. In December, 1887, a group 
of the young men who had hunted on the buffalo range 


and had followed the rear guard of American big game 
into the mountains organized the Boone and Crockett Club, 
through which they cherished a memory of the past and 
a love of outdoor life. A few years later they exhibited at 
the Chicago World's Fair a frontiersman's log cabin set on 
an island in its typical surroundings. **The club felt very 
strongly," wrote Theodore Roosevelt, one of its members, 
"that the life of the pioneer settler, the life of the man who 
struck out into the wilderness as part of the vanguard of 
civilization, and made his living largely in warfare with the 
wild game, represented a phase of our history so character- 
istic and yet so evanescent that it would be a mistake not 
to have it represented. . . . There is nothing in the history 
of any other nation which quite corresponds to it." Roose- 
velt set to work to write the history of the frontier in his 
Winning of the West (1889-96), and a more genuine plains- 
man than he dramatized it. 

Colonel William F. Cody, known through a generation in 
Europe and America as " Buffalo Bill," grew to boyhood on 
the margin of the plains. At the age of four- "Buffalo 
teen he was rider on the pony express which ^*^^" 
carried the mails in less than eight days across the plains 
from St. Joseph on the Missouri to Sacramento. He later 
became a professional hunter providing fresh buffalo meat 
by contract to the construction camps of the Union Pacific 
Railroad while it was building across Nebraska, and when 
the road was done, he was in demand as guide and friend 
for Eastern sportsmen and distinguished foreigners, who 
wished to hunt big game and see the West. 

About 1872 Cody went upon the stage, acting in cheap 
Western melodramas whose Indians were all painted white 
men. In 1883 he prepared a larger venture, gathering at his 
ranch on the North Platte cowboys and mustangs as well 
as real Indians borrowed from the reservation. Here he 
organized his Wild West Show with its open-air presenta- 
tion of cowboy life. His performance leaped into immedi- 
ate popularity. In 1887 he took it to London to exhibit at 
the American Exposition there in the Jubilee year of Queen 


Victoria, and earned even greater popularity than at home. 
The novel life aroused the interest of the youthful royalties 
gathered in London that summer. Command perform- 
ances were frequent and Cody returned their hospitalities 
with Western barbecues in the big arena. Alexandra, then 
Princess of Wales, came repeatedly with her children, and 
like the rest of royalty insisted upon riding around the 
arena in the Deadwood coach during the Indian attack. 
So long as it was possible to obtain real Indians and cow- 
boys, the popularity of the Wild West Show continued, and 
when Cody died in 191 7 his rivals were still imitating his 
performance and moving-picture actors without number 
had seized upon his theme. 

The Wild West Show preserved a part of the disappear- 
ing life with the technique derived from an even greater 
"Greatest spectacle, then at its height — P. T. Barnum's 
Show on ** Greatest Show on Earth." It was the mission 

of Bamum, who turned his Yankee ingenuity to 
the trade of showman in 1835, to make amusement and 
recreation respectable. The Puritan idccils and the fron- 
tier simplicity of American life had restricted the develop- 
ment of public amusements. The theater was unimportant 
outside the cities and in bad repute within them, but there 
existed in most of the population sufficient means to patron- 
ize whatever entertainments might arouse their interest. 
Barnum, with genius for both entertainment and advertis- 
ing, became a great figure in New York with his American 
Museum. His exploitation of the dwarf Tom Thumb and 
his later importation of the Swedish singer Jenny Lind in 
1850 were typical successes in his career. Out of his mu- 
seum and menagerie there developed a traveling circus that 
he put upon the road in 1871, and that ten years later was 
famous under its boasting name, with three rings under the 
main top and its gigantic side-shows. His importation of 
Jumbo in 1882 failed to produce an internatioucil clash as 
Punch feared, but led to violent and profitable publicity. 
His royal Burmese white elephant, imported a little later, 
was white enough to be unusual, but not white enough to 


be profitable, and added the phrase ''white elephant" to 
the rich American vernacular. 

In the fifty years during which Bamum was prominent 
before the public, American life lost its rural simplicity 
and city populations came into existence, living a narrower 
and less satisfying life than that of the farm, and craving 
new outlets to restore their spiritual balance. Farm life 
had given opportunities for a rounded development that 
was denied not only to the inhabitant of the city tenements, 
but even to the city well-to-do. The latter now organized 
their country clubs, yacht clubs, and athletic clubs, while 
the former became willing supporters of public recreation 
and organized sport. 

The rise of sport in America between the Centennial Ex- 
position in Philadelphia in 1876 and the World's Fair at 
Chicago in 1893 is due in part to a readjustment Rise of 
of American life from rural to urban conditions, ^^^ 
and provides the outlets that replaced the frontier as it was 
closed. Before the Civil War there was little sport in 
America. The Turnverein members had imported group 
gymnastics from Germany. There was some racing of 
both horses and boats, and there was much hunting on a 
small scale, but sport was generally only an afterthought 
and a by-product. The breed of race-horses that Diomed, 
winner of the English Derby of 1780, started in Virginia in 
his old age, contributed to the development of the Ameri- 
can thoroughbred and the permanent interest in racing 
stock. In 1866 the American Jockey Club was opened on 
the outskirts of New York, and was followed by similar 
race-tracks that made racing a spectators* sport, entertain- 
ing the city population and discredited by the gamblers 
who infested it. Robert Bonner, who owned Maud S. 
when her records beat the world, found the burden of proof 
still against him, as the public asked why a man of known 
respectability should devote so much of his attention to 

The America's cup was brought to the United States from 
the royal yacht races held at Cowes in 1851, and induced 


a long series of English sportsmen to undertake to take it 
Y j^ . back. During the eighties the Atalanta (1881), 

*°^ the Genesta (1885), the Galatea (1886), and the 
Thistle (1887) made the attempt in vain, and a generation 
later the famous cup was still in the hands of the New York 
Yacht Club, and the hope of its recovery was still alive in 

Promoters of sport as a spectacle found that it could be 
made to pay, with city audiences anxious for a chance to 
Walkin contribute to its support. In 1878 an English 

sportsman, Sir John Astley, offered a purse of 
£500 and a championship belt worth £100 more to estab- 
lish a championship for a six days' go-as-you-please race. 
Walking races among professional pedestrians had been 
popular for some years, but had been marred by the inabil- 
ity of referees to maintain any effective definition of walk- 
ing. The Astley belt was competed for in London and was 
won by a Chicago Irishman named O'Leary, who covered 
520 miles in six days. The trophy was defended four times 
before the end of 1879, and other similar races had ample 

The interest in walking races was surpassed by the re- 
viving interest in prize-fighting, and the personality of 
g^ . pugilists who followed the profession. The fight 

of John C. Heenan against the English champion, 
Sayers, in i860 was the last of the great fights of the old 
school before promoters built arenas and commercialized 
the pastime. About 1880 a Boston Irishman, John L. 
Sullivan, began to attract interest by his engaging person- 
ality and his genius for slugging. In February, 1882, he 
won the championship of America from one Paddy Ryan, 
and thereafter repeatedly crowded the arena at Madison 
Square Garden. Like Buffalo Bill he went to England for 
the Jubilee in 1887, where his conduct when he met the 
Prince of Wales and treated him as an equal was widely 
noticed. Sullivan differed from many of the professional 
fighters in his willingness to take punishment as well as to 
give it. In 1889 a bout was arranged between him and Jake 


Kilrain for a new diamond belt oflFered by the editor of the 
Police Gazette, and what they called the heavyweight cham- 
pionship of the world. He won this fight and his admirers 
talked of running him for Congress on the Democratic 
ticket. He went on a boxing tour to Australia instead and 
came back to lose his title to a new winner, James J. Cor- 
bett, in 1892. The popularity of boxing was well estab- 
lished, with the protests of the refined and tender-hearted 
more than overborne by the interest of those who liked to 
watch it or participate. Theodore Roosevelt engaged in 
public boxing while an undergraduate at Harvard, boxed 
with fighters whenever he had a chance at the White House 
or elsewhere, and maintained a personal friendship with 
John L. Sullivan throughout his life. 

The National League of baseball clubs was formed in 
1876 with eight member teams: Boston, Hartford, Chicago, 
St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, the Mutuals 
(New York), and the Athletics (Philadelphia). 
It marked the transition of baseball from a players' sport, 
loosely organized though widely enjoyed, into a profitable 
spectators' sport. Baseball evolved from earlier games of 
ball played, some of them, between the Mexican and Civil 
Wars. There was an organization of baseball players as 
early as 1858, who enjoyed the game with a soft ball and 
without gloves, masks, or protectors. The Civil War stim- 
ulated the game. It brought together groups of young men 
who sought recreation in their off hours, and taught the 
game to men from all sections, who carried it home with 
them after demobilization. In the later sixties local base- 
ball clubs sprang into existence in all parts of the United 
States and the Cincinnati Red Stockings, a strictly pro- 
fessional team, went on tour in 1869 with great profit to 
themselves. The deliberate organization of leagues of 
traveling clubs followed in due course. 

As a spectators' game baseball had no equal. The city 
ball parks operated as vents where the surplus enthusiasm 
of the crowds upon the bleachers was released with much 
noise but a minimum of danger. An American Associa- 


tion of clubs appeared in 1882 as a rival of the National 
League, and minor or **bush" leagues grew up among 
groups of cities everywhere. Albert G. Spalding was the 
best-known patron of the game. He helped to organize 
the National League, won the pennant year after year with 
his Chicago team, and in 1889 took two full teams on a tour 
around the world. Baseball was the only game of the sort 
whose vogue was universal. Cricket, of similar fame in 
England, was an exotic in America. It was played a little 
on the fields around Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, 
and Dr. S. Weir Mitchell remembered to have played it as 
early as 1845. Philadelphia developed a group of country 
clubs where cricket was the leading sport, and occasionally 
visiting teams from Canada or England were invited for a 
contest. The ** gentlemen of Philadelphia" in September, 
1885, for the first time beat eleven Britishers with an eleven 
of Americans. 

Baseball and cricket occupied the border-land between 
the spectators' sport and that of the participants. The city 
Amateur crowds wanted recreation as well as entertain- 
sports ment, and those who could afford it joined with 

their friends to make it possible. Boys who went to col- 
lege found football and baseball, rowing and track athletics, 
waiting for them. The Intercollegiate Athletic Association 
came into existence in 1876 as did the National Amateur 
Athletic Association of America. These societies drew the 
line between amateur and professional sport, and endeav- 
ored to secure control over the former, and to maintain a 
real distinction between those who played games for fun 
and those who performed for money. Fields were acquired 
on the unbuilt margins of the cities, where the games were 
played. Club-houses were provided with dressing-rooms 
and baths, and before long other conveniences made their 
appearance in the form of general club-houses for non- 
playing members, women's club-houses, and junior buildings 
for the children of members. The athletic club became the 
center of recreation in many a community and evolved 
easily and naturally into the country club. A decade later, 





however, when golf was imported into the United States, 
and two decades later, when the motor car had made its 
appearance, the country club developed its largest useful- 

The participants' sports increased in number and variety 
as the population grew that needed them. About 1863 one 
Plimpton invented the roller skate and bred a mania that 
raged endemic among the youth and as an intermittent 
epidemic among adults thereafter. Halls were converted 
into skating rinks and great buildings were erected for skat- 
ing. The range of the sport was widened when concrete 
sidewalks and asphalt streets appeared in the early eighties. 
Six days' skating races were profitable for their promoters, 
and a record of 1090 miles was made in such a race in 
1885. Women and girls took to the pastime, causing their 
elders to grieve over the demoralization of the growing 

Croquet made its appearance as a mild sport in the same 
years, and had a wide popularity because of the simplicity 
of its equipment. The handful of players who treated it as 
a game of skill rather than as a pastime began their national 
conventions in 1879, and persisted in them at the per- 
manent grounds of the National Croquet Association at 
Norwich, Connecticut. 

The improvements in city streets and country roads made 
possible the rapid adoption of the bicycle. Contrivances of 
this sort were experimented with for many years before the 
machine with its large front wheel, its slender steel spokes, 
and its rubber tires assumed a standard form. Colonel 
A. A. Pope, of Hartford, Connecticut, imported English 
bicycles in 1878, and began to copy and improve upon them. 
Bicycle clubs were organized whose members adopted uni- 
forms and rode together in a body. Club '* runs " to near-by 
resorts became a common form of amusement, while occa- 
sionally the more stalwart members of the organizations 
undertook their ''century runs" upon a single day. In 
1880 the delegates of twenty-nine bicycle clubs organized 
the League of American Wheelmen which for nearly twenty 


years took a leading position in the field of amateur sport. 
The progress of invention soon made bicycling safer and 
adapted it to the use of women by the introduction of the 
safety bicycle. This machine, chain-driven and with 
wheels of equal size, appeared in the catalogues of 1887. 
The pneumatic rubber tire that followed it in a few more 
years completed the basic structure of the modern bicycle. 

Lawn tennis, the only genuine rival of baseball and bicy- 
cling as American sports, was deliberately invented in 
England and was imported to America about 1875. Tennis 
courts were built on private lawns and in the new athletic 
clubs, and inspired a great increase in the number of the 
latter, A national association was organized in 1881 and 
began its series of annual tournaments at Newport. A 
women's national championship tournament appeared in 
1890, and in the next decade the American girl invaded 
England and there held her own against all comers. 

The new interest in sport developed most rapidly in the 
regions where the open country life first disappeared. The 
games were taken up with an avidity that speedily made 
them more than an outlet for repressed spirits, and turned 
them into a positive expression of a new side of American 
life. They spread from the cities where they were indis- 
pensable to the small towns where they were less needed. 
Not only the rich patronized them, but people of moderate 
means enjoyed them and were able to pay for them. City 
governments provided them at public cost for the poorer 
classes. The prosperity of the eighties was enough to pro- 
vide a wide and immediate following for sport or anything 
else that appeared to be worth while. 


Phineas T. Barnum, Life of P. T. Barnutn (1855), was republished in 
almost annual editions as an advertising device, but is packed with enter- 
taining information which is often accurate. Helen Cody Wetmore, 
Last of the Great Scouts: The Life Story of Colonel William F, Cody, *' Buffalo 
Bill" (1889), and John A. Lomax, Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads 
(1910), give interesting data on the Far West. Theodore Roosevelt, 
Hunting Trips of a Ranchman (1891), is one of the best accounts of the 


West as a playground. The literature of sport is fragmentary and unrelia- 
ble. The files of Outing (beginning 1882 as the Wheelman) provide the 
best single source. The New York Herald gives the most detailed sport- 
ing news. Other works of value are Albert G. Spalding, America's 
National Game (191 1); George B. Grinnell, Brief History of the Boone and 
Crockett Club (191 1) ; and F. L. Paxson, "The Rise of Sport," in Mississippi 
Valley Historical Review, September. 19 1 7. 



The closing frontier removed the outlet that had exerted a 
continuous influence for a century, and the rise of sport to 
some extent provided a substitute method of relief; but 
greater changes were occasioned by the disappearance of 
free lands than those which were simply df the body and the 
spirit. The ease with which economic independence could 
be obtained steadily declined, and a typical citizen lost the 
expectations hitherto prevailing that he could be financially 
independent in his early middle age. It became more dif- 
ficult to go into agriculture. Expanding industry brought 
into existence cities filled with factory workers whose fu- 
ture was often bounded by the factory walls. 

The labor problem took on a new importance as the hope 
of individual independence weakened. The factory pro- 
Labor duced class consciousness among the workers, 
movement ^j^q could see the sharp contrast between their 
lives and those of their employers, without seeing a way of 
bettering their condition except by organization. 

The contrast between the comforts and resources of the 
few and those of the bulk of the population became sharper 
Wages and than it ever had been. In earlier periods wealth 
prices j^g^j |-^g^j^ distributed with greater equality, and 

there had been fewer luxuries or enjoyments that money 
could buy. The new inventions and recreations were now 
brought within reach of the well-to-do, and men of means 
found opportunity in the shifting industry to increase their 
wealth. It gave the worker little satisfaction to know that 
he was probably better oflf than men in his position had ever 
been before. The prices of commodities in 1890 were less 
than half those that prevailed in 1865, and were actually 
lower than those of i860 before the Civil War. The declin- 
ing curve of prices after 1865 made life easier for the middle 


class and the wage-earners living on fixed incomes. This 
advant^e was increased by the fact that wages were rising, 
those of 1890 averaging 68 per cent above those of i860. 
With prices falling and w^es rising on a steeper curve, the 
wage-earner had no grievance as he looked behind him. 
His grievance lay before him, as he looked into the future and 
saw a small fraction of the population enjoying advantages 
hitherto unknown, whose attainment lay beyond his reach. 
The National Labor Union of 1866 ran its course until it 
blundered into politics and died trying to absorb the green- 
back doctrine. The Knights of Labor represented the next 
serious attempt to develop consciousness among working- 
men, and to organize them on a national scale. Its exist- 
ence for over ten years as a secret society of which the 
public was vaguely and nervously conscious carried it 
through the panic of 1873 and the period of the railroad 
strikes. At the beginning of the next decade it threw aside 
the cloak of secrecy and became the open spokesman of all 
labor. Its basis of organization was the individual work- 
man, regardless of his craft, and it admitted all workers but 
lawyers, bankers, and saloon-keepers. Its theory of organ- 
ization was a threat to that of the trade union that was work- 
ing for solidarity in the various crafts. In 188 1 a federation 
of organized trade and labor unions was organized in Pitts- 
burgh to preserve the autonomy of local union, and yet 
provide a national organization. The American Federation 
of Labor, as this body came to be known, had a limited suc- 
cess until 1887, the Knights of Labor, meanwhile, remain- 
ing the more prominent oi^anization. One general activity 
of the Knights of Labor was its promotion of a statistical 
study of the conditions of labor. In 1891, said Senator 
Aldrich m the preface to his report on prices, " there was no 
data in existence by which the actual or relative status of 
wage-earners could at any time be accurately measured." 
A National Bureau of Labor was created by Con- Bureau 
gress in 1884, to assist in this study, and thirty- ^^ ^^^ 
one States had somewhat similar bureaus by 1893. The 
Knights desired to secure the post of Commissioner of Labor 


for their Grand Master Workman Terence V. Powderly, but 
Arthur instead appointed a distinguished economist, Carroll 
D. Wright. The annual report of the Bureau became a 
mine of information on the labor movement. In 1887 and 
again in 1894 ^^d 1901, it was devoted especially to a 
summary of strikes and lockouts. Increasing knowledge 
coupled with an actually improving status increased the un- 
easiness of labor instead of moderating it. The panic of 

1884 left temporary depression in its w^ke that distorted 
the curves of wages and prices for a brief interval. In 

1885 Powderly discussed **the army of the discontented" in 
the North American Review, and believed that at the moment 
there were two million workmen unemployed. There ap- 
peared to be a lack of correlation when farmers complained 
of overproduction arid falling prices and labor thought itself 
unable to get along. 

The prosperity that was insufficient for American work- 
men attracted immigrants in increasing numbers after 1878, 
until in the year 1882 they totaled 788,992. To many of 
these the condition of labor in America was better than 
their expectation, but they quickly absorbed the discon- 
tent of organized American labor in addition to alien ideals 
that they imported and propagated in the United States. 

Between 1878 and 1890 the German Government pro- 
scribed the Socialists, forcing them under cover and into 
Anarchy secrecy, and driving the more enterprising of 
and them to migration. Compulsory military serv- 

socialism _ 

ice increased the volume of European emigra- 
tion. The repressive policy of Russia bred anarchy and 
nihilism among the working-classes and further increased 
the stream of population attracted by the prosperity of the 
United States. The arrival in America of immigrants who 
knew neither Republican nor Democrat, but who avowed 
themselves to be followers of Karl Marx or of the exponents 
of anarchy, jarred the complacency of the United States 
as it regarded American institutions. The names of the 
new schools of thought were freely used without differentia- 
tion. Violence and murder were their earmarks for the 


public. The railroad strikes of 1877 caused dismay to those 
who thought them the beginning of a conununistic revolt. 
From unshakable conviction of the merits of American in- 
stitutions, many persons had passed to a panicky fear of 
any individual however dissenting or unimportant who advo- 
cated a change, whether by evolution or by revolution. In 
May, 1886, after a period of strikes, egged-on by exuberant 
oratory from a group of foreign anarchists, there was a 
riot in the Haymarket in Chicago and bombs were thrown, 
resulting in the death of several policemen. The trials of 
the anarchists for murder and the execution of several of 
them were generally accepted as a proper defense of society. 
The Haymarket riots were described by Leslie's as '*the 
most significant event that has occurred in this country 
since Sumter was fired on." 

The army of the discontented offered a continuous in- 
vitation to the builders of new parties, still seeking for the 
right moment to unite the forces of discontent and those of 
reform. The New York mayoralty campaign of 1886 tested 
the temper of the day. 

Henry George, who was the candidate of the Labor- 
Democracy for mayor of New York in 1886 had become a 
national figure in the seven years since the publi- 
cation of his Progress and Poverty. The theory George and 
of the single tax expounded in this volume be- ^^^[^3 
came immediately popular in Ireland, where the 
alien ownership of land was producing civil war. George 
was recognized in Britain before America would listen to 
him. His books were read and his addresses were welcomed 
by large audiences. The labor and anti-monopoly forces in 
New York made him their candidate in September, 1886. 
Patrick Ford with his Irish World brought him support 
from the New York Irish. He had the open support of Ter- 
ence V. Powderly , of the Knights of Labor, as well as that of 
Samuel Gompers, of the American Federation of Labor. 
The older parties were driven to heroic exertions to save the 
day. The Democratic Party nominated Abram S. Hewitt, 
as strong a man as it possessed, who had been chairman of 


the Democratic National Committee in 1876 and a member 
of Congress, and who was in the abnormal position of being 
at once a wealthy iron-master and a free-trade Democrat. 
The Republican Party nominated Theodore Roosevelt, whose 
fighting qualities more than offset his lack of years. Hewitt 
was elected, but the friends of George believed that his more 
than sixty thousand votes contained the nucleus of a new 
political party. 

The United Labor Party was formed in August, 1887, by 
the group that worked with George the year before. Most 
of its members were sympathetic with the doctrine of the 
single tax, but the convention suppressed the Socialists who 
tried to capture the organization. Six months earlier there 
had been an industrial labor conference at Indianapolis, 
dominated by Western reformers and the remnants of the 
old Greenback organization. This convention thought 
"every day brings tidings of the uprisings of the people" 
and formed a Union Labor Party. Each group of reformers 
hoped to bring about a merger of agricultural and industrial 
labor, as the Greenback Nationals had tried to do in 1878. 

The depression after 1884 was productive of complaints 
against the existing order that took form not only in new so- 
Sq^^jj. cial theories and parties, but also in open strikes, 

western Jay Gould reduced the wages of the shopmen 
and machinists on his Wabash road early in 
1885 and brought on a strike that began in the Sedalia 
shops of the Missouri Pacific in March. Somewhat to the 
surprise of the strikers, they won their demands with the 
support of the governors of the Southwestern States and 
the local railroad commissioners. The men were encour- 
aged to continue and complete their organization. District 
assemblies of the Knights of Labor appeared throughout 
the Missouri Pacific system, and in March, 1886, local 
assemblies of the Knights under the leadership of Martin 
Irons renewed the warfare. The strike was disavowed by 
the Knights of Labor, which as an organization did business 
in other ways. There was, however, no means by which 
the national organization could control the irregular acts 


of its local assemblies, and Irons for a time became a dic- 
tator in the Southwest. Jay Gould was at the height of his 
unpopularity and the strikers believed that because of this 
public sympathy would side with them. 

Gould defeated the hopes of the strikers by turning public 
sympathy against them. Instead of trying to run his trains, 
he brought them back to the yards, when the strikers did 
not bum them on the way, and left them there. Within 
a day or two southern Kansas and the region southwest of it 
realized their dependence upon continued freight service. 
Coal and food ran low. Political pressure was brought upon 
the governors to end the strike, while Powderly disavowed 
it. The outlaw assemblies were held responsible for the 
disorder, while the strike out of which it grew was declared 
by the Commissioner of Labor to be ill-judged and without 
proper cause. It was completely lost. 

The Knights of Labor declined in strength and popularity 
after the Missouri Pacific strike. Its attempt at solidarity 
of all labor antagonized the leaders of the trades. The 
American Federation began to grow rapidly, encouraging 
its member unions to develop themselves as far as possible, 
and becoming itself a clearing-house for the common needs 
of labor. The organization of 1881 was revised in 1886. 

The renewed uneasiness of labor and reform, instead of 
producing a demand for *'a strong President*' as it did in 
1878, stimulated an examination of the workings poster 
of American government. The one hundredth ^^^^y\ 
anniversary of the Federal Constitution, cele- 
brated in 1889, became the occasion of a general discussion 
of the changes in society. During these ceremonies Bishop 
Henry C. Potter preached a scathing sermon upon the de- 
cay in morals to a congregation that included the Presi- 
dent! Edward Bellamy wrote a romance. Looking Backward 
(1889), in which his hero was thrown into a prolonged 
slumber on Memorial Day, 1887, to awake in the year 2000, 
and to wonder at the new society. Bellamy followed the 
trend to monopoly to its logical fullness, and described an 
Arcadia of state socialism. His tale appealed to spirit^ 


discontented with the realities of life, and there came a 
little crop of Bellamistic societies, whose members talked of 
forming communities in which to live a communistic life. 
A different picture drawn from the same society was given 
by Paul Leicester Ford in The Honorable Peter Stirling 
(1894), who described the foundations of the power of the 
city boss and used episodes that made the life of his hero 
somewhat resemble that of Grover Cleveland. 

While politicians, reformers, and labor organizers were 
working on the problems of the city wage-earner, the daily 
City-life life of that individual was an object of wide 
problems concern. The cities of the eighties were piled 
helter-skelter within the limits of what had been hardly 
more than country towns. The census of the United States 
shows 25 cities of fifty thousand in 1870, 35 in 1880, and 58 
in 1890. New York City in these twenty years increased 
from 942,292 to 1,515,301, Philadelphia from 674,022 to 
1,046,964, Chicago from 298,977 to 1,099,850. The in- 
crease in houses was in every case less rapid than that in 
city population. The poorer newcomers crowded in tene- 
ments, and it was small wonder that the city boss, with his 
annual free picnic for his constituents, could win their 
hearts and sway their votes. The city political organiza- 
tions acquired a degree of cohesion hitherto unknown in 
American politics, and their steadiness gave to the national 
party organizations an ability to resist the disintegrating 
influences of reform. The cities became the scene of easy 
political corruption. On every hand the needs of the com- 
munity called for water companies, gas companies, electric 
lighting, rapid transit, and railroad terminals. The fran- 
chises of the community possessed great value for promoters 
who could gain possession of them, and the city councils in 
the presence of these agents of business were under constant 
pressure to betray the interests of the people. 

The condition of the less fortunate members of society 
crowded in the city slums constituted a two-edged problem. 
Their misery and lack of opportunity appealed to the com- 
passion of every one who knew them, while the future of 


society in the hands of voters who had grown to manhood 
amid the conditions of the slums was a matter of deep con- 
cern. When Jacob Riis published in 1890 the record of his 
observations as a journalist on the East Side in New York 
under the title How the Other Half Lives, he aroused both 
amazement and incredulity. 

The conditions arising from modern city congestion were 
experienced in Europe earlier than in the United States 
and were approached from both standpoints, of social 
the body and of the soul. The spasmodic re- "^^^^^^^ 
vival work conducted with effect by Moody and Sankey in 
the later seventies in New York was paralleled by the per- 
manent revival work of the Salvation Army. This organiza- 
tion beginning in the English slums in 1865 stuck persist- 
ently to its task. The first edition of its War Cry appeared 
in 1879. Its activities were extended to the United States, 
and carried on amid jeers and misunderstandings, but "the 
hallelujah circus" lasted in spite of the sneers. 

The name of Arnold Toynbee is connected with the move- 
ment that began in England to take lay workers into the 
slums and to help their inhabitants by methods other than 
religious. The interest of Toynbee in the work was aroused 
in part by the English lectures of Henry George. After his 
death Toynbee Hall was founded in the East End of Lon- 
don, and here a group of university men went into the re- 
gion of the notorious White Chapel Road like any other 
missionaries into a strange society. 

The settlement idea was brought to America after the 
opening of Toynbee Hall. Americans who would have 
denied the existence of a need looked around them and 
were frightened by what they saw. The New York Col- 
lege Settlement was opened in the fall of 1889; a few days 
after it a group of Western college women, with Jane Ad- 
dams at their head, opened Hull House in Chicago. Lillian 
D. Wald, one of the early group of workers in New York, 
has described in autobiographic form The House on Henry 
Street (1915), with which she was connected. The new ideas 
spread rapidly, and before the end of the century more 


than a hundred settlements of similar character had been 
created to spread the happiness of modem life more uni- 
formly among the people. 

Charity was refounded upon a new theory. The giving 
to others for the benefit of the giver appeared to be inade- 
quate. The interest of society in the welfare of all its mem- 
bers and in being protected against the underdevelopment 
of any of them was the foundation of new movements for 
charity organization and cooperation among the charitable 
agencies. The new science of sociology was studied for the 
light it might throw upon these problems. Social workers 
found themselves working for the same ends as the professed 
advocates of labor. In both groups there was steady devel- 
opment of a conviction that democracy on the old basis had 
had its day with the passing of the rural ideal, and that 
under the conditions of modem industry democratic free- 
dom of opportunity would be lost unless the people as a 
whole intervened to save themselves as individuals. By 
1890 the United States was no longer a nation of relative 
equality, but showed all the signs of approaching social 
stratification. The degree with which this fact was unrec- 
ognized by the spokesmen of reform is one of the measures 
of the survival of the belief in the doctrine of equal op- 


John R. Commons, Documentary History of American Industrial Society 
(191 1), is supplemented by his codperative History of Labor in the United 
States (19 1 8). Contemporary narratives are Terence V. Powderly, 
Thirty Years of Labor (1889), and George E. McNeill, The Labor Movement 
(1887). There is much testimony on labor conditions in the Report of the 
Industrial Commission (1900-02). The Aldrich Reports, compiled 1892- 
93. give detailed statistics on wages and prices and are printed in 52d 
Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Rep. 986, and 52d Cong., 2d Sess., Sen. Rep. 1394. 
There is an exhaustive report on immigration in 49th Cong., 2d Sess., 
House Ex. Doc. 157. Valuable biographies are Henry George, Life of 
Henry George (1904); Lillian D. Wald, The House on Henry Street (1915;; 
and Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House (19 10). 



At no time between 1885 and 1889 did Grover Cleveland 
have both houses of Congress in political agreement with 
him. The Democrats failed to gain the Senate in 1884, and 
repeated the failure in 1886. The President never received 
the prestige that comes from the enactment of party meas- 
ures. His own party came to regard him as less than a 
success, while the Republicans viewed him as the obstacle 
between themselves and full control of the Government. 
His tendency to rely upon his own judgment increased with 
his isolation. In December, 1887, he took all parties by 
surprise by devoting the whole of his annual message to 
the need for tariff reform. 

The attack upon the protective tariff system advanced 
along three lines after the chance injection of the issue into 
the canvass of 1880, and the failure of Congress, The tariff 
under Arthur, really to revise it. The social *®*"® 
reformers denounced it as class legislation that gave sf)ecial 
privileges to the monopolies that were already menacing. 
Political economists, filled with the theories of Adam Smith, 
criticized it as an improper interference with free trade 
among the nations. Practical politicians saw in it the cause 
for a swelling surplus in the National Treasury that either 
tempted Congress into extravagance or took from the people 
funds not needed for the purposes of government. Cleve- 
land was impressed by all three arguments, but most of all 
by the last. In his third annual message he called Con- 
gress to its duty and his party to leadership, in cutting down 
the revenues to the amount needed to maintain the Gov- 

Many of the wisest of the tariff reformers advised against 
an attempt at reduction at this time. There was no pros- 
pect that a bill could be passed gainst the opposition of a 


Republican Senate. George W. Curtis, Carl Schurz, and 
E. L. Godkin believed that it was more important to reelect 
Cleveland in 1888 than to force the tariff issue in 1887, and 
feared that the result of Cleveland's act would be to split 
the Democrats and improve the fighting spirit of the Re- 
publicans. Neither free trade nor tariff reform was accepted 
unanimously in the Democratic Party, which had recog- 
nized the protectionist Randall as its parliamentary leader 
until 1883. 

The tariff reform message of Cleveland was accepted by 
the Republican leaders as a call to battle. James G. Blaine 
was abroad when it was read, but instantly an interview 
with him at Paris appeared in which he denounced free 
trade. The Republican National Committee met in Wash- 
ington on December 8, 1887, to issue the call for its next 
convention. The committeemen welcomed the issue as 
one upon which they were ready to fight, and the chairman, 
B. F. Jones, announced that Blaine could have the nomina- 
tion if he wanted it. The aggressive in the tariff debate had 
been conducted by Democrats thus far. It was now seized 
by Republicans, who held it for the next ten years. 

Neo-Republicanism was a name suggested for the Re- 
publican Party as its leaders took up the movement for 
extreme protection, and advanced under the arguments 
formulated by Henry Clay for the American system. 
Throughout the debate over the tariff of 1883 the party 
leaders had conceded that the tariff as it existed was inde- 
fensible. There was no excuse for the " accidental*' duties 
and it was imperative to reduce the surplus. The change 
in party attitude visible by 1888 was a natural result of the 
industrial changes since the panic of 1873, and the fall of 

Over-production and falling prices were among the results 
of railroad construction and mechanical invention. The 
welfare of the wage-earner was improved; his wages were 
increased while prices fell. But the producing classes, 
farmers and manufacturers, watched with regret the de- 
clining market value of their output, and listened readily 

THE ELECTION OF 1 888 137 

to the suggestions for raising prices. The manufacturer 
connected his loss with European competition. When 
London Punch printed a cartoon describing Cleveland as 
"English, quite English, you know," on account of his tariff 
reform ideas, it strengthened the manufacturers* belief that 
free trade was un-American, and that the route to greater 
prosperity lay through protection. When Cleveland urged 
a tariff policy whosa consequence would be to encourage 
the importation of more foreign goods, through lower 
duties, the manufacturers turned to their own party and 
financed the fight against him. Most of them lived in the 
North and E^t, and belonged to the party that was dom- 
inant in that region. The voice of the Republican tariff 
reformers was drowned by the noise of Republican pro- 
tectionists. When a New York City convention nominated 
Roosevelt for mayor in 1886, a voice was raised against 
him charging that he had belonged to a college free trade 
club. Chauncey M. Depew, who presided, anointed the 
sore spot with a jest, and defended the young man's privi- 
lege to make mistakes and repent them. The Republican 
party organization was swung from apology for the tariff 
and promise of amendment to its affirmative advocacy. 

Roger Q. Mills, of Texas, appointed chairman of the 
House Committee on Ways and Means by Speaker Car- 
lisle, was a tariff reformer, and approached, in his theoreti- 
cal views, what the tariff advocates described as free trade. 
Under his direction the Democratic majority of the com- 
mittee prepared a tariff bill that contemplated a reduction 
of $50,000,000 in the customs receipts. The House began 
to debate it in April, 1888, and Mills's attack upon the ex- 
isting tariff situation as the result of Republican class leg- 
islation was met by William McKinley, of Ohio. McKin- 
ley was now minority leader on the committee, and was 
supported by Thomas B. Reed and ''Pig Iron'* Kelley, of 
Pennsylvania, in denouncing the bill as a ''star chamber" 
measure which the majority members had drawn up in 
secret. ''Neither employers nor employed could view 
with indiflf^renc^ th^ hasty manner in which modification 


of a protective tariff, upon which depended their fortunes 
and their daily earnings, was made by men fitted neither 
by association nor experience for the task," wrote Walker 
Blaine in the North American Review. The six Southerners 
among the eight Democratic members of the committee 
were charged with a sectional attack upon the industrial 
life of the nation. Before the tariff passed the House, the 
national conventions were held to nominate candidates for 
the approaching election. 

The Democratic Convention met in St. Louis on June 
5, 1888, with the Administration forces in control, though 
Party not able to dominate it in every way. Cleve- 

conventions j^^j ^^^ renominated without serious dissent, 

in spite of the opposition from his own State, where Gov- 
ernor David B. Hill had gained control of the Democratic 
machine and was using it for his own purposes. Allen G. 
Thurman was nominated for Vice-President, Hendricks 
having died in office. Cleveland was able to secure the 
election of his candidate for chairman of the convention, 
Patrick Collins, of Boston, a prominent Irish leader whose 
influence offset that of Patrick Ford and Patrick Egan who 
had led many Irish-Americans to Blaine in 1884. He was 
not able to force the convention to endorse the Mills Bill 
by name, although his friends overrode the objections of 
the Democratic protectionists, and adopted a plank ap- 
proving tariff revision. 

The Republican Party convened at Chicago two weeks 
after the Democratic meeting, with the new spirit of protec- 
tion in the ascendant, and with no leader in sight except 
James G. Blaine. In the discussion of the tariff since the 
preceding December, Blaine had led the attack from Eu- 
rope, and he was still abroad when the convention met. In 
1884 he had embarrassed his campaign at the last moment 
by accepting a banquet at Delmonico's from Astor, Sage, 
Gould, and other money kings. He was now in Scotland on 
a coaching trip with Andrew Carnegie, from whose resi- 
dence he kept up a cable correspondence with his friends in 
the Chicago Convention, He was ^Qt the most availably 


candidate, and knew it. The Mugwump charges, anent 
the Mulligan letters and his conduct as Speaker had not 
been silenced, and were certain to break out again if he 
should resume his candidacy. His friends, loyal to the end, 
were not ready to concede this, and held the convention in 
session into its second week while they clung to the hope 
that he would consent to run. 

With Blaine eliminated, the Republican field was wide 
open. John Sherman, with his usual support of Southern 
delegates, was still ambitious ; but there was no unanimity 
among his Ohio colleagues, and both Foraker and McKinley 
were mentioned in rivalry to him. New York supported 
a favorite son for a time, in the f)erson of Chauncey M. 
Depew. Allison, of Iowa, and Alger, of Michigan, were both 
active aspirants; Indiana furnished Walter Q. Gresham 
and Benjamin Harrison. 

The Gresham candidacy was the hope of the surviving 
Mugwumps, who had made no attempt to perpetuate a 
party organization, and who had generally reverted to their 
Republican allegiance after 1884. Some had remained 
with the Democrats, attracted by Cleveland's leadership 
against the tariflf, but their number was small because it 
was their general impression that in administering the civil 
service Cleveland had done less well than they expected, 
and many of them regarded him as a failure. The attitude 
of Gresham against the tariflf drew to him such Republicans 
as regretted the new party trend. 

As the convention week dragged on, Harrison grew in 
strength, but the week-end passed without a choice. He 
received the nomination on the following Mon- Benjamia 
day, after Blaine had repeated his refusal to ^^^^^^on 
run, and had advised his friends to turn their support to 
Harrison. Levi P. Morton, of New York, was nominated 
with him. "Harrison lived near the center of population 
and was almost a composite photograph of the nation's 
want," wrote one of his admirers. '*He was neither 
Granger nor anti-Granger. He had good running qualities 
of another kind. He had a home and cherished it. He had 


all the homely qualities which are the best gift to an Ameri- 
can who seeks for office by the popular vote. He had a 
good record. He had an ancestry, but did not depend on 
it." With the scandals of 1884 in view the nomination of 
Harrison was an insurance policy for the party. His per- 
sonal life was above any reproach ; his party record as Sena- 
tor was good; he stood high in one of the most doubtful 
States; and his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, still 
aroused affections in the Northwest that resembled those 
for Andrew Jackson. 

The Republican platform was written by the advocates of 
high protection in spite of protests from the West that the 
Canvass Mississippi Valley was not devoted to it. The 
of 1888 Western view, summed up in the Chicago Trib- 

une, a low tariff, Republican paper, stated the opinion: 

" Protection, in a nutshell, means 

A right for certain classes; 
A little law that intervenes 

To help them rob the masses. 
The rich may put their prices high; 
The poor shall be compelled to buy.** 

The manufacturers had gained control of the Republican 
party organization, and upon their recommendation a little 
later the Republican National Committee chose Senator 
Matthew Stanley Quay as chairman and campaign manager. 
The Mills Bill served as a convenient text until the can- 
vass was nearly over. It was passed by the House during 
July and in the Senate was given open hearings by the Com- 
mittee on Finance. At these hearings manufacturers who 
objected to any lowering of the tariff rates brought forward 
their testimony. The advocates of reduction, less well or- 
ganized, made a less important showing than the manu- 
facturers. The open hearings were emphasized by Republi- 
cans in contrast to the secrecy in which the original bill had 
been prepared. A few days before election the hearings on 
the bill were dropped, and Congress adjourned to partici- 
pate in the closing days of the campaign. No real reduction 
had been possible with the Republican Party in control of 


the Senate; the Democratic measure merely provided a 
text for partisan debate. 

The attack upon the Democratic Party for its failure to 
carry out the reforms it promised produced new discussions 
of the civil service. Republican critics quoted the Demo- 
cratic platforms since 1872 with their pledges of devotion to 
civil service reform. The party in office had been beset with 
demands for jobs from Democrats who had had no chance to 
enjoy the federal patronage since i860. Cleveland had up- 
held the work of the Civil Service Commission, and had in- 
creased the number of offices in the classified civil service. 
He had, however, taken the view that outside this service 
there were many officers who **were appointed solely on 
partisan grounds'* and who had ** forfeited all just claim to 
retention, because they have used their places for party pur- 
poses in disregard to their duty to the people, and because, 
instead of being decent public servants, they have proved 
themselves offensive partisans and unscrupulous manipu- 
lators of local party management." Postmaster-General 
Vilas had been permitted to remove large numbers of 
Republican postmasters in the old fashion. 

The echoes of the Civil War were not absent during the 
debate, although they were subsiding every year. The 
former Confederates in Cleveland's Cabinet aroused some 
resentment, and the charge was often made that the Demo- 
cratic Government was under the control of the "rebel 
brigadiers." It was held that in his pension vetoes Cleve- 
land "showed lack of sympathy with the pensioners"; and 
he gave offense "to the patriotic public sentiment of the 
country in going fishing on Decoration Day." Worse 
than this he ordered the return to the Southern States of 
battle-flags captured during the Civil War. It was too 
early for the veterans of that struggle to accept this with 
complacency, and one of them, Joseph B. Foraker, strength- 
ened his campaign for governor in Ohio in 1887 by his public 
declaration that "no rebel flags will be surrendered while I 
am governor." 

The United States, as usual, was nearly evenly divided 


upon the issues. In the three preceding elections the vic- 
torious candidates had been chosen by slight popular ma- 
jorities. Indiana and Ohio had now ceased to hold their 
State elections earlier than the national election, and the 
country accordingly lacked these indices to the temper of 
the times. Indiana remained, however, a doubtful State, 
which both parties made great efforts to carry. The Re- 
publican campaign treasurer, W. W, Dudley, received wide 
notoriety from a letter in which he was alleged to have ad- 
vised local workers in Indiana to organize their "floating 
voters" in "blocks of five" and to vote them under the eye 
of trustworthy lieutenants. The letter was denounced as 
bogus, but seems at least to be typical of party methods. 

The British Minister at Washington, Sir Lionel Sackville- 
West, fell into a trap set for him by a Republican worker. 
A letter written to him by an alleged naturalized English- 
man who signed himself Murchison asked him to advise 
the writer how he might best vote so as to make his vote 
of use to Great Britain. With an indiscretion matched 
only by Blaine's failure to notice the remark of Dr. Bur- 
chard, he replied that a vote for Cleveland would support 
the British policy of free trade. His act became known 
in October, and he was immediately dismissed as persona 
non grata^ but no dismissal could overcome the injury of 
his remark. Free trade was denounced as un-American 
and pro-British. British gold was alleged to be behind the 
Democratic Party, and votes were turned against the Demo- 
cratic ticket. 

Benjamin Harrison was elected on November 6, 1888, 
and with him there was chosen a Congress Republican in 
both its branches. The election was so close, however, that 
the victor received less than a majority of the votes cast; 
but the Cleveland plurality was wasted on huge majori- 
ties in Democratic States, while the Harrison minority was 
widely distributed so that it carried the electoral college. 
In New York the presidential vote was given to Harrison, 
while Cleveland's Democratic rival, David B. Hill, was 
chosen as governor, under circumstances that suggested a 

THE ELECTION OF 1 888 143 

corrupt bargain between the local Democratic and Republi- 
can State machines. 

The scandals of Indiana and New York, whether the in- 
dividuals mentioned were guilty as charged or not, drew at- 
tention to a condition in politics in grievous need of improve- 
ment. In most States all of the machinery used in making 
nominations for office was outside the law, and was operated 
by party organizations with no penalties for corruption and 
no remedy for the cheated party members. Even the pro- 
vision of ballots to be used upon election day was a private 
matter, and the State began its control at the ballot-box in 
which these were deposited. It was possible to buy votes, 
whether in '* blocks of five " or otherwise, to place the desired 
ballot in the hands of voters, and to require them to hold 
the ballot so that it might be visible to the watcher at the 
polls until it was safely deposited in the ballot-box. It 
was possible by careful watching to observe which ticket was 
voted by any voter. Democrats alleged that in manufactur- 
ing towns the mill-owners compelled their employees to vote 
the Republican ticket under penalty of dismissal. 

The abuses in the election system became more visible in 
these elections in which the vote was nearly evenly divided 
and in which elections turned largely upon party Secret 
organization and political tricks. "We should ^^^^^ 
so shape our governmental system," wrote Theodore Roose- 
velt in the Century in November, 1886, '*that the action re- 
quired by the voters should be as simple and direct as possi- 
ble, and should not need to be taken any more often than is 
necessary. Governmental power should be concentrated in 
the hands of a very few men, who would be so conspicuous 
that no citizen could help knowing all about them ; and the 
elections should not come too frequently." A movement 
for a secret ballot, which the State instead of the party 
should provide, made its appearance about 1885. Massa- 
chusetts passed such a bill in 1888 and Governor Hill vetoed 
one in New York in the same year. The system had orig- 
inated in Australia thirty years earlier and had spread thence 
into England, and now appealed to the United States as a 


means of elevating the standards of elections. The action 
of Massachusetts was followed by nine other States in 1889, 
by seven more in 1890, and by eighteen in 1891. Before the 
next presidential election the reform was national in its scope 
and neither the purchase of votes nor the intimidation of 
voters ever recurred on the scale in which they existed be- 
fore the adoption of the Australian ballot. 


The tariff histories mentioned under Chapter VIII, above, continue to 
be of use. William L. Wilson, The National Democratic Party (1888), is a 
partisan compilation, but has considerable value in the absence of more 
serious histories of parties. Joseph B. Foraker, Notes of a Busy Life (19 16), 
prints numerous letters relating to this campaign, and should be read in 
connection with Charles S. Olcott, Life of William McKinley (19 16). 



James G. Blaine was more prominent during the canvass 
of 1888 them was Benjamin Harrison, the candidate, and 
received the reward of his unquestioned party Harrison's 
leadership in the appointment as Secretary of Ca^>n«^ 
State. In the management of the campaign it was clear 
that Republican manufacturers were providing the cam- 
paign funds and that they expected action from the new 
Government in the direction of the extension of the pro- 
tective system. The rest of the Cabinet was made up of 
party workers loyal to protection. William L. Windom 
was made Secretary of the Treasury, although Thomas C. 
Piatt declared the post had been promised to him. Most 
of the other members were unknown in national affairs; 
but one, John Wanamaker, of Philadelphia, who was ap- 
pointed Postmaster-General, occasioned considerable remon- 
strance. Wanam2iker was described by Harper's Weekly as 
the purveyor of money to be spent by Quay and Dudley. 
In the closing days of the canvass he was believed to have 
raised nearly four hundred thousand dollars for the party 
treasury, extracting the funds from his manufacturing ac- 
quaintances who feared interference with their tariff rates. 
The editor of the New York Tribune was made Minister to 
France and Corporal Tanner was made (Commissioner of 

The election of 1888 resulted in Republican majorities 
in both houses in the Fifty- First Congress, but left the 
majorities so small that party business could be ^^ . 
transacted only in case it was possible to keep tion olf^ " 
the whole majority continually at work. In conerttT^ 
the Senate with forty-seven Republicans against 
thirty-seven Democrats the margin was large enough for 
safe operation, In the House of Representatives, with one 


hundred and seventy votes the Republicans possessed only 
five more than the absolute majority necessary to produce a 
quorum. Under the practice in the House the quorum was 
determined by the number of members who answered on 
a roll-call. When the Mills Bill was introduced in Novem- 
ber, 1888, the Republican members, under the leadership of 
Thomas B. Reed, of Maine, sat silently in their seats during 
the roll-call and compelled the Democrats to provide the 
whole quorum out of their own membership before they 
could proceed to business. If this practice were now turned 
against the Republican majority the end result would be im- 
potence in the House whehever six Republicans were absent. 
The practice was a scandal, sanctified by long continuance. 

Thomas B. Reed was elected Speaker with the support of 
most of his party votes, after a caucus in which the nomina- 
tion had been contested by Joseph G. Cannon, William Mc- 
Kinley, and David B. Henderson. Reed raised McKinley 
to the chairmanship of the Committee on Ways and Means, 
and determined upon his policy in case the minority should 
impede a new revision of the tariff by a filibuster against a 
quorum. The test occurred on January 29, 1890, when the 
minority remained silent during a roll-call, and the Speaker 
directed the clerk of the House to record the names of the 
Democrats not voting and to count them present. The 
ruling was autocratic and revolutionary and precipitated 
a parliamentary riot among its Democratic victims, who 
leaped angrily to their feet to insist that they were not 
present. With inflexible good humor Reed observed that 
they appeared to be present and continued to count their 
names. After some days' discussion the ruling of the chair 
was upheld and the House rules were changed, abolishing 
the old abuse. Reed received the nickname "Czar," and 
earned it in so far as he used his power as Speaker and as 
chairman of the Committee on Rules to prevent a minority 
of the House from interfering with the performance of its 
business by the majority. The McKinley tariff was taken 
up as the first important party measure. 

There was reasonable room for doubt as to the nature of 


the mandate of 1888, since Cleveland received a majority of 
the votes cast, while Harrison was elected Pres- j|^^ 
ident. But there was no doubt as to the in- McKinley 
tention of the Republican Party to regard the 
election as a victory for the new dominant issue. "We are 
uncompromisingly in favor of the American system of pro- 
tection," said their party platform. "We protest against 
its destruction as proposed by the President and his party. 
They serve the interests of Europe; we will support the 
interests of America." The new measure that McKinley 
reported to the House represented the first attempt to ap- 
ply the principle of protection systematically. Burrows, of 
Michigan, expressed the party intent: 

" If there is any article on the free list in this bill the like 
of which, by fair and adequate protection, could be produced 
in this country in sufficient quantities to meet the home de- 
mand, it is an oversight on the part of the majority of the 
committee, and, if it can be pointed out, we will move that it 
be transferred to the dutiable list and given such protection 
as will insure its production in this country. 

" If there is a single article on the dutiable list where the 
duty is so low as to expose the like domestic industry to a 
ruinous foreign competition and thus endanger its per- 
manency, it has but to be indicated to secure such measure 
of protection as will insure its safety. 

" If the proposed rate of duty on any article on the duti- 
able list is in excess of what is required to give fair and ade- 
quate protection to the competing domestic industry, none 
will be more ready than the majority of your committee to 
reduce the rate to the level of such requirement." 

The McKinley Bill passed through the usual phases of 
tariff construction ; passed by the House in one form, it was 
rewritten in the Senate and became a law in still a third 
guise after a thoroughgoing revision in the conference com- 
mittee. It contained novel features in its final form with 
reference to agriculture, infant industries, and reciprocity. 
The agricultural schedules were promised in 1888 to hold in 
line discontented farmers in the West. The lukewarm- 


ness of the Mississippi Valley toward protection was largely 
inspired by its dependence upon staple crops. Its complaint 
that the tariff was for the benefit of the manufacturers was 
now met by the adoption of rates to protect American food 
from foreign competition. Since almost no food was im- 
ported that could be raised in the United States at all, these 
schedules were chiefly political in their intention. Sugar, 
however, was placed upon the free list because, by abolishing 
the revenue derived from it, the surplus could be lowered 
about fifty million dollars a year. The sugar duty was the 
largest single item in the tariff revenue and the easiest to 
control. In order to prevent free sugar from working in- 
jury to the American producers, who raised about one eighth 
of the national supply, a bounty of two cents a pound was 
provided for these, with the additional advantage of lower- 
ing the surplus still further. 

The Republican theory that every commodity that could 
be produced in the United States must be protected, reached 
its logical extension in the treatment not only of infant in- 
dustries, but of the unborn. For over half a century pro- 
tectionists had described the national advantage of en- 
couraging the beginnings of manufacture in order that the 
infant industries might ultimately be able to supply the 
nation and make it independent of the outside world. The 
party of Cleveland declared that ''the tariff is a tax" and 
that this protective rate increased the cost to the American 
purchaser for the selfish benefit of the manufacturer. The 
Republican Party officially denied this charge and sought to 
prove that the foreign manufacturer paid the duty, taking it 
out of the profits he would otherwise have extorted from the 
American public without altering the retail price. The 
treatment of tin plate carried the protective theory to the 
extreme. This industry was developing rapidly because 
of the growing use of tin containers for the preservation of 
food, but the British manufacturer had maintained his 
monopoly of the manufacture of tin plate despite the wide 
distribution of both tin and steel in the United States. The 
McKinley Bill provided a duty upon tin plate to be made 


effective at the discretion of the President when enough 
American mills should have been established to mark the 
birth of a new infant industry. 

The '* Chinese wall " of protection drawn around American 
industry by this act brought disappointment to many inde- 
pendent observers. "This McKinley Bill/' wrote Goldwin 
Smith, who had worked twenty years for the annexation 
of Canada, only to see protection prevail on either side of 
the border, "is a sad relapse and a great disgrace to democ- 
racy ... at the same time it is right to say that Protection- 
ism in the United States is kept up as much by sheer dint 
of bribery as by perversion of popular opinion." James 
Russell Lowell regarded it as "the first experiment a really 
intelligent people have ever tried to m2ike one blade of grass 
grow where two grew before, by means of legislation." The 
extremity of the act aroused the fears of the Secretary of 
State lest it interfere with his cherished policy of closer re- 
lations with the Latin republics. His idea of promoting 
American cooperation had led to the invitation of a Pan- 
American Congress during his first term as Secretary of 
State in 1881. Arthur cancelled the invitation, but Harri- 
son authorized its renewal when Blaine returned to power. 
In October, 1889, the delegates of the southern republics 
met in Washington to discuss their common interests. It 
was futile to talk about developing trade relations while pre- 
venting them through the imposition of prohibitive tariffs. 
The South American exp^orts were in many cases raw ma- 
terials similar to those of the United States. At Blaine's 
insistence reciprocal arrangements were authorized to be 
made for the interchange of such commodities, and pro- 
vision was made for levying special duties against such 
countries as did not participate in reciprocity. 

While the McKinley Bill was still under debate a new 
aspect of protection appeared in the demand of silver mine- 
owners that their output be protected like the sherman 
output of Eastern manufacturers. In the Sen- Silver Pur- 
ate there were enough silver Republicans to 
make a non-partisan majority in favor of the restoration of 


the free coinage of silver. A bill for free coinage passed 
the Senate in June and Western Republicans united in the 
threat that unless something were done for silver, the silver 
Republicans would kill the McKinley Bill and block the 
party purpose. The Treasury had spent to date, under 
the Bland- Allison Law of 1878, $308,000,000 in the pur- 
chase of silver bullion, out of which it had been able to 
coin $378,000,000 stcuidard but depreciated silver dollars. 
Most of these were still reposing in Treasury vaults, where 
they constituted a growing part of the Treasury surplus. 
The demand of the silver miners for more aid led to the 
drafting of a compromise law, which bore the name of John 
Sherman and provided that every month the Secretary of 
the Treasury should purchase 4,500,000 ounces of silver, 
paying for the same with a new issue of legal-tender Treas- 
ury notes. The amount specified was intended to repre- 
sent the total American production of silver. With the pas- 
sage of the Silver Act, the obstruction to the McKinley 
Bill ceased and it was signed October i, 1890. 

The appropriations of the Fifty-First Congress helped to 
reduce the surplus that had embarrassed every administra- 
tion for a decade. For the first time the appropriations ex- 
ceeded a billion dollars for the biennium. Congress was 
lavish in its expenditures for salaries and public buildings. 
Its additions to the pension laws met the demands of the 
organized veterans of the Civil War, and still further re- 
duced the surplus. President Harrison's first choice as 
Commissioner of Pensions, Corporal Tanner, had long been 
a persistent advocate of generous treatment of the pension- 
ers. As Commissioner his policy was, wherever possible, 
to grant new pensions or increase old ones, regardless of law. 
He was soon removed from office, but his successor, too, was 
an advocate of liberality. The party was pledged to re- 
verse Cleveland's attitude of suspicion of pensioners, and 
Congress passed in June, 1890, a Dependents' Pension Bill 
for the relief of veterans who were incapacitated, whether 
because of their military service or not. Before the Fifty- 
First Congress had completed its appropriations, the sur- 


plus ceased to cause anxiety, and in its place there was un- 
easiness as to the continued ability of the Treasury to do 
business without forcing the cheap silver dollars into use. 

The close connection between the Republican Party and 
the manufacturing interests was a cause of increasing sus- 
picion that weakened the party in the West. ^^^j. 
The anti-monopoly movement was bringing the monopoly 
business interests into disrepute, and the word 
"trust" was acquiring a sinister meaning in popular usage. 
Andrew Carnegie decried **the bugaboo of trusts'' in the 
North American Review in 1889, but the apprehension could 
not be dispelled by mere denial. In his opinion the so-called 
trusts were the outgrowth of over-production and the en- 
suing low prices, and were a necessary attempt to regulate 
competition in such a period. A growing public opinion, on 
the contrary, believed that the trusts were huge combina- 
tions aiming at monopoly, and saw objections to them 
along economic, social, and political lines. 

The economic arguments against the trusts treated them 
as agents of extortion, which deprived the public of the ad- 
vantages of free competition. The maxim that "competi- 
tion is the life of trade" provided a theory upon which the 
common-law doctrine rested. The public was entitled to 
free competition among its servants, and the individual 
participating in that competition had a right to immunity 
from combinations and conspiracies among his competitors. 
Interference by such conspiracies with free competition 
was actionable under the common law. They were magni- 
fied in importance when the industries operated as giants 
and brought the force of their conspiracy against individual 

The social objection to the trusts was inspired in part by 
an unwillingness to accept the changes in the nature of 
American life. The independence of the individual farmer 
was an ideal increasingly difficult to realize as manufac- 
tures and transportation were reoi^ganized. The great 
railroad company or manufacturing corporation provided 
occupation for a multitude of salaried subordinates who 


would have been their own masters under earlier American 
conditions. The number of independent manufacturers 
and merchants was being further decreased by their in- 
ability to meet the new competition. Men who desired 
to remain independent were forced to give up the fight. 
Butchers were forced to become distributors for the Chicago 
packers. Small merchants were forced to become section 
chiefs in the great department stores. The whole trend of 
organization was to reduce the number of men in positions 
of entire independence and to increase the number who op- 
erated as cogs in some machine. There was a growing fear 
that this change would work an injury in American life, and 
the middle eighties were filled with complaints against the 
trusts. Here and there a writer like Edward Bellamy sup- 
ported the drift toward monopoly, but the more common 
attitude was one of regret and hostility. 

The political consequences of the trusts were suspected 
and feared more than they were visibly perceived. Begin- 
ning with the railroad lobbies working for their land grants, 
the large corporations had appeared to expect favors from 
legislative bodies. They had been able to raise funds to 
influence legislation and opinion. The belief that they 
were guilty of common bribery was supported by occasional 
established instances and was increased by the belief that 
they had both the funds and the willingness to be corrupt. 
In some States the afi^airs of a single corporation were fairly 
comparable with those of the State itself. The Southern 
Pacific Railroad Company in California and the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad in Pennsylvania were common scapegoats. 
A fear pervaded the country that the people were losing 
control of their own institutions and that the trusts were 
gaining it. The Republican Party was particularly subject 
to the suspicion of being under these influences. 

The Sherman Anti-Trust Bill, an outgrowth of anti- 
trust sentiment, became a law in July, 1890. It extended 
the principle of the common law to interstate traffic and 
forbade combinations and conspiracies in restraint of trade 
in commerce among the §tates. It was made possible for 


an injured competitor to sue a trust for damages, or for a 
defendant, sued by the trust, to prove that his sherman 
prosecutor was a trust and quash the proceed- AntiTniat 
ings, 9r for the Government itself to proceed 
against the trust to procure its dissolution. The votes 
that passed the law were less partisan than those that passed 
the tariff. The corporations had friends in both parties 
who desired to ward off adverse action. A chance letter 
from one of their Democratic friends written to Chauncey 
M. Depew strayed into the papers in 1889. The writer was 
t^eggii^g for a railroad pass and justified his plea, "although 
you are a Republican and I am a Democrat, we do not 
differ much in regard to our views in connection with cor- 
porate property, and I may be able to serve these interests 
should I pull through again." 

The Republican docket of 1890 was full of important 
laws with definitive measures respecting tariff, trusts, 
silver, and pensions, and with a new high-water mark in 
appropriations. The list, with the several groups of dis- 
senters produced by each statute, would have endangered 
the stability of a party well-founded on a large majority. 
For a party whose President had been chosen by a minority 
of votes, it was calamitous. The debate over the tariff, 
which Cleveland had precipitated in 1887, and which the 
Republican organization had forced to the front thereafter, 
believing it to be a battle-cry of victory, had been slow in 
producing results. The Cleveland doctrine took increasing 
hold in the agricultural West, where depression had suc- 
ceeded the boom period of the early eighties. As the date 
approached for the McKinley Bill to become effective, the 
city retail stores, even including that of John Wanamaker, 
the Postmaster-General, urged their buyers to "purchase 
now before the price goes up." The belief that the tariff 
was a tax paid by the consumer took hold of the whole 
country and in the Congressional election that followed 
the adjournment of Congress in 1890 a landslide of discon- 
tented voters forced the Republican Party out of power. 
Only 88 Republicans were elected to the new Congress, 


which included 236 Democrats and 8 members of a new 
third party, that called itself the Farmers' Alliance and that 
presented a baffling problem for the deliberations of politi- 


Additional works having special value at this point are William D. 
Orcutt, Burrows of Michigan and the Republican Party (19K7), and Samuel 
W. McCall, Life of T. B. Reed (1914). 



The Sherman^Silver Purchase Act of 1890 owed its passage 
to a "hold-up" in Congress, engineered by Republican 
Congressmen from the Western States. It was . . 
not the first occasion on which the frontier had of the 
demanded and obtained legislation satisfactory gj^"^"' 
to itself, but at no preceding time had there 
been so large a group of new Western members present in a 
single Congress. Six new States were received into the 
Union between November, 1889, and July, 1890. North 
Dakota and South Dakota, Washington and Montana con- 
stituted a group admitted under an omnibus act signed by 
Cleveland in February, 1889. Idaho and Wyoming, which 
failed to secure authorization in the same act, made consti- 
tutions without authority for doing so and were admitted 
in the summer of 1890. The narrow Republican majority 
in each house made that party peculiarly susceptible to the 
admission of new States, whose Congressional delegations 
were likely to be Republican. Of the twelve Senators and 
seven Representatives allotted to the six new States, all but 
one voted with the dominant party. Their support on 
party issues demanded and received its reward, with the 
result that the silver issue was advanced in importance until 
it threatened to displace the tariff. 

The State of Colorado, admitted as the thirty-eighth 
State in the centennial year, 1876, was still in 1890 the far- 
thest west of the Eastern States. The old frontier of States 
as it existed before the Civil War with its western border 
touching the plains along the boundaries of Minnesota, 
Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas, represented the 
limits to which agriculture was able to expand without 
artificial aid. The three Territories of Kansas, Nebraska, 
and Colorado, projecting west from the middle of this line, 


owed their admission to the need for Republican votes in re- 
construction and to the demands of the miners in Colorado. 
Their initial population was small, but the railroads that 
crossed them from east to west, Union Pacific, Burlington, 
Kansas Pacific, and Santa F6, had lands to sell and stimu- 
lated their settlement by organized promotion. With the 
revival of business in 1879, home-seekers turned toward this 
triangle of young States. Omaha, Kansas City, and Den- 
ver developed new importance as distributing centers. In 
connection with the cattle industry and with the influence of 
the Western prairie farmers they brought a new political 
pressure in Congress. 

The Far Western States of 1880 had not been changed 
since the admission of Nevada as a rotten borough in 1864. 
There was no excuse for Nevada except that Lincoln needed 
Republican votes to strengthen the Union majority in Con- 
gress. Nevada, Oregon, and California were separated from 
the other organized States of the Union by a huge, irregular 
tract of public domain that extended across half the width 
of the continent along the Canadian line, and that covered 
the Mexican border between the Colorado and the Rio 
Grande. There were eight Territorial Governments within 
this area, five in the Northwest — Dakota, Montana, Wyo- 
ming, Idaho, and Washington. Two in the Southwest — 
New Mexico and Arizona — were scarcely less primitive 
than they had been at the date of their conquest in 1846. 
The barrier was narrowest between Colorado and Nevada 
where the Mormon hierarchy of Utah covered a Territory 
and retarded its admission into the Union. 

In the earlier decades of frontier advance the prevailing 
growth had occurred along a narrow strip on the western 
edge of the last frontier. In each generation since the plant- 
ing of the seaboard colonies the new frontier was settled by 
the children of the old, and as the new frontier ripened into 
social consciousness its children were got ready to repeat 
the process. The systematic advance of the frontier was 
checked at the western border of Missouri by lack of easy 
transportation, by the diminishing fertility of the land upon 


the plains, and by the popular belief in the existence of the 
"Great American Desert." West of Missouri the agricul- 
tural frontier did not advance unaided. When the aid 
came in the form of free homesteads to advertise the West 
and continental railroads to lessen its distances, the result 
was a scattering of effort. The frontier line disappeared from 
the map after 1 880. I n its place the farther west was dotted 
with irregular settlements whose location was determined by 
natural resources or communications. From all of these 
there early came demands for the abolition of the Terri- 
torial status and for admission into the Union. 

The Southwest Territories were the least affected by the 
incentives to colonization, and with a population relatively 
stationary were the weakest of the statehood projects. New 
Mexico, with nearly three times the population of Arizona, 
had 153,000 inhabitants in 1890, and the preponderance 
of Mexicans among these weakened the force of her inter- 
mittent demands for admission. 

The five Northwest Territories more than trebled in the 
decade, the population rising from 301,000 in 1880 to 
1,136,000 in 1890. Within their limits 8673 miles of rail- 
road were completed in this decade. From the valley of 
the Red River of the North to the banks of the Columbia 
and the shores of Puget Sound, clusters of inhabitants were 
spread along the lines of the Northern Pacific, and the 
Great Northern which James J. Hill was thrusting through 
the same country. In Dakota and Washington there were 
already organized movements for statehood earlier than 
1880. By the date of their admission Dakota had over 
half a million inhabitants and Washington 349,000. 

In the struggle for the admission of Territories after Col- 
orado, Dakota was the usual text upon which arguments 
were based. Largest in population and nearest the East, 
if she might not come in, no Territory could hope for en- 
trance. Her demands for statehood were shaped by the 
geographic facts that produced a geographic sectionalism 
withm her borders. There was no good reason for most of 
the boundary lines given to the Western Territories, They 


were arbitrary and rectangular. Those of Dakota included 
three isolated^areas of divergent economic interests. Oldest 
of these was the Yankton country in the southeast comer. 
Next in prominence was the northeast comer, where Red 
River wheat became the staple product of a region singularly 
fitted fof its production. Until nearly 1890 each of these 
sections had less in common with the other than with the 
city of Chicago through which each maintained its contacts 
with the outside world. The mining region in the Black 
Hills in the southwest comer found an outlet through 
Cheyenne and the Union Pacific and constituted a third 
center of sectionalism in the Territory. 

Long before statehood was in sight the Territory was in- 
tent upon division before admission, and was thinking gen- 
Division erously of its future as two States. Educational 
of Dakota ^^j penal institutions were established in pairs, 
making provision for the northern and southern halves 
of the Territory. The capital of the Territory was shifted 
from Yankton to Bismarck, where the Northern Pacific 
crossed the Missouri River. Here Henry Villard, while 
celebrating the completion of his road in 1883, stopped long 
enough to lay the cornerstone of the prairie capital. '*The 
confidence of these Westerns is superb," wrote James Bryce, 
who was a guest on Villard 's special train. " Men seem to 
live in the future rather than in the present: not that they 
fail to work while it is called to-day, but that they see the 
country not merely as it is, but as it will be twenty, fifty, a 
hundred years hence, when the seedlings shall have grown to 
forest trees." 

The Western demand for new States was stronger than 
the disposition of Congress to admit them. From 1876 
until 1889 Congress was at no time under the control of a 
single party except for the two years between 1881 and 
1883. The Northwest Territories were all settled in years 
in which the Republican Party was dominant and in which 
its plea for party regularity received strong response from 
men who had lived through the period of the Civil War. 
The probability that they would add Republican votes to 


Congress created a Democratic reluctance to admit them. 
Dakota at least might have been admitted in 1883, when 
the Republican Party was in full control of Congress, had 
not Senator Hale, of Maine, obstructed its admission on the 
ground that one of its counties had repudiated an issue of 
railroad bonds. In its zeal for rail connection with Chicago, 
Yankton County borrowed money to further the construc- 
tion of the Southern Dakota Railroad. When the local 
population became dissatisfied with the attitude of the rail- 
way toward the county, it convinced itself that the owners 
of the bonds were culpable and defaulted on its interest 
payments. When the bondholders sought for judgments 
against the county officers, these resigned. A complacent 
legislature changed the law so as to permit of easy resig- 
nations, and for some years county officers after their ap- 
pointment met by stealth to levy taxes and then resigned 
to dodge the process-server. Hale's objection was sufficient 
to exclude Dakota in 1883, while Democratic opposition 
from the House continued the exclusion for six more years. 

The demand for statehood from Dakota and the other 
Territories was never long absent from Washington. The 
Territorial delegates in Congress made repeated speeches 
upon their territory, population, and virtues. An unau- 
thorized constitution was framed in Dakota in 1883, and 
a second with the approval of the Territorial Legislature in 
1885. Wheat farming was booming in the eastern counties, 
the cattle industry was at its height in the bad lands on the 
western border. To the north, in Canada, the Canadian 
Pacific was completed in 1885, and the economic future of 
the northern plains was secure before Congress could be 
prevailed upon to authorize statehood action. 

The defeat of Cleveland in 1888 served notice that after 
one more short session of Congress the Republican Party 
would come into complete control of the National Govern- 
ment. After March 4, 1889, it would be within the power 
of the Republican majority to admit any or all of the Terri- 
tories, and they were likely to increase their strength wher- 
ever new States pould do it. With this prospect in view a 


movement originated in the Democratic House of Repre- 
sentatives in the session after the election to pass an omni- 
bus bill in which the Democratic Territory of New Mexico 
should be joined to the inevitable Republican Territories. 
Dakota and Washington presented the best cases for ad- 
mission; Montana had framed a spontaneous constitution 
in 1884, and was much in the public mind because of the 
notoriety of the Coeur d'Al^ne mining boom. New Mexico 
made the fourth member included in the omnibus bill, 
which was passed by the House in January, 1889. The 
Democratic attempt to include New Mexico was blocked 
by the same tactics that Democrats had used against the 
Northern Territories. With complete freedom of action in 
sight there was no need for Republicans tc concede any- 
thing to Democrats. New Mexico was stricken out, Dakota 
was divided, and Cleveland finally approved a Republican 
bill for the admission of North and South Dakota, Mon- 
tana and Washington. 

In the summer of 1889 these omnibus States completed 
their constitutions, drawing upon their inherited experience 
and the spirit of the times for their details. The traditional 
form of the American State was repeated in every instance. 
The prevailing temper showed itself in a multitude of re- 
strictions upon the officers of government, in numerous 
articles upon railroads and corporations that reflected the 
universal hostility against monopoly, and in detailed speci- 
fications that made each constitution a virtual code of laws. 
The complex constitutions were described by Francis New- 
ton Thorpe as striking documents in a momentous **case of 
the American People versus Themselves." The four States 
were admitted by proclamation in November, 1889, and 
Idaho and Wyoming were allowed to join them in the fol- 
lowing summer. "Living men," Owen Wister has written 
of the process that was then under way — "Living men, 
not very old yet, have seen the Indian on the war-path, the 
buffalo stopping the train, the cowboy driving his cattle, 
the herder watching his sheep, the government irrigation 
dam, and the automobile — have se^U every one oi thes^ 


slides which progress puts for a moment into its magic- 
lantern and removes to replace with a new one." 

With the admission of the omnibus States the number of 
Territories was reduced to three, New Mexico, Arizona, 
and Utah, in addition to the tract of land under Indian 
an irregular status known as Indian Territory. Territory 
The same influences that quickened the life on the Western 
plains brought pressure upon the United States to dissolve 
the Indian tribes and to throw their territory open to pub- 
lic entry. The Territory of Oklahoma was created by an act 
of May, 1890, including an irregular tract in the western end 
of Indian Territory. 

The old Indian country was brought into existence by law 
upon the recommendation of President James Monroe, who 
urged that the American desert be set aside forever as the 
home of the Indian. The treaties made between 1825 and 
1 841 transferred most of the eastern Indians to reservations 
west of the Missouri, where Indians were protected against 
the damage done by contact with the whites by the Inter- 
course Act of 1834. The new policy failed to settle the In- 
dian problem and became only one of its transitory stages. 
The overland trails pierced the Indian country in all di- 
rections, and when these were followed by the continental 
railroads, the policy was definitely abandoned. New re- 
serves were brought into existence in southern Dakota, and 
in the area between Kansas and Texas, which was the sole 
remaining part of the original Indian country. The tribes 
living here, the so-called five civilized tribes, Cherokee, 
Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole, were punished 
for their adherence to the Confederacy by the forfeiture of 
their western lands in the valleys of the Canadian and Red 

The tribes that originally lived on the buffalo range were 
given reserves in these forfeited lands, but the difficulty of 
maintaining their rights of ownership increased a$ the area 
of free land lessened. Here were some of the most attractive 
lands on the continent, and the acreage was far in excess of 
any use to which the Indians could put them. Cattle-men 


were allowed to lease the grazing rights from the tribes that 
owned them, and advanced the contention that because of 
their lease they had the right to exclude other cattle-men 
from driving their stock from Texas across the Indian 
country toward Kansas and the north. Individual squatters 
evaded the federal troops and established themselves upon 
choice spots in the desired country. Its Indian name, 
Oklahoma, '*the beautiful land," began soon to be heard, 
and squatters set up the contention that certain areas of the 
forfeited lands that had not been assigned to other tribes 
were open to entry under the general land laws. In April, 
1879, Hayes was obliged to remove by force organized bands 
of squatters who had congregated along the northern bound- 
ary of Indian Territory, at Caldwell and Arkansas City, and 
had publicly attempted to preempt the lands. The in- 
adequacy of federal law in the Indian country made it im- 
possible to do more to the trespassers than to escort them 
out, feeding them meanwhile army rations. Nearly every 
year thereafter the attempt was repeated and the ejection 
followed. Arthur and Cleveland both proclaimed against it. 
In 1887 preparations for the eventual opening of the 
Territory were begun in connection with the Dawes Act for 
Opening of extinguishing the tribal sovereignty to the land. 
Oklahoma Under the act each Indian received an individual 
allotment and the surplus lands were purchased from the 
tribe by the United States and turned into the public do- 
main. One of the latest laws that Cleveland signed author- 
ized his successor to issue a proclamation opening these 
Oklahoma lands to settlement. A cordon of federal troops 
was drawn around the boundaries of the country to prevent 
"sooners" from entering in advance and preempting the 
choicest tracts. The official race began on April 22, 1889, 
and within a few hours Guthrie and Oklahoma City had 
sprung into existence as tent colonies, speculation had be- 
gun in building lots, and long queues of entrymen awaited 
their turn at the federal land offices. There was no Terri- 
torial Government as yet. The Oklahoma voters were 
obliged to rely upon their native respect for law, supple- 


mented here and there by federal troops. A year later the 
Territory was formally organized and Oklahoma was started 
toward ultimate admission. 

Utah had completed forty years of Territorial life when 
Oklahoma was created and would have been admitted at 
a much earlier date had it not been for the in- 
stitution of polygamy maintained there under the 
sanation of the Mormon Church. In 1862 Congress for- 
bade polygamy by law, but the act remained a dead letter 
in the Territory, where plural marriage was not only sanc- 
tioned, but encouraged by the Church. It was impossible 
to procure either indictment or conviction by juries drawn 
by Mormon officials and made up of Mormons. For twenty 
years gentiles in Utah complained of the hierarchy that 
dominated the territory. The Edmunds Law of 1882 ap- 
proached the problem from a new angle. In addition to 
providing penalties for polygamists it disqualified them for 
jury service, public office, and the franchise. It threw the 
administration of the Territory into the hands of the gentiles 
and created a federal commission of five to supervise the 
enforcement of the law. 

In spite of protests from the Mormon Church, the Ed- 
munds Law was enforced with the approval of American 
public opinion. The leaders of the Church with numerous 
plural families were convicted and sentenced, while each 
year brought into the Territory more non-Mormon settlers. 
The prosperity of the irrigated counties in Utah gave an 
impetus to irrigation in all the arid regions. In 1890 the 
Church gave up the fight. The revelation concerning plural 
marriage, which had been officially published in 1852, was 
as officially withdrawn. The public attitude of the Church 
became that of discouraging new plural marriages and of ad- 
hering to the law. The older heads of plural families gen- 
erally stuck to them and took the consequences, but in the 
younger generation polygamy became uncommon. Presi- 
dent Harrison accepted the change of policy, issued a gen- 
eral amnesty to former offenders, and Congress in 1894 
empowered Utah to become a State, The property of the 


Mormon Church which had been seized as a punitive 
measure was restored in 1893. Utah was admitted in 1896. 
The new States of the Far West reflected in their institu- 
tions the liberal ideas that were fighting in vain for recog- 
Woman nition elsewhere in the country. Most notable 
suffrage among these was that of woman suffrage. Wyo- 
ming accepted the principle in its constitution of 1890 and 
Colorado adopted it by referendum in 1893. The^new 
State of Utah accepted it from the start, and in November, 
1896, Idaho became the fourth of the suffrage States. The 
movement had already been the objective of active re- 
formers for half a century and now entered into the realm 
of practical politics. It was fourteen years before the next 
State, Washington, was added to the list. After 1910 oppo- 
sition to woman suffrage rapidly diminished and it became 
a generally accepted fact. 


Robert P. Porter, The West from the Census of 1800 (1882), and Julian 
Ralphf Our Great West (1893), are useful general surveys. F. L. Paxson, 
"The Admission of the Omnibus States, 1889-1890,'* in Wisconsin State 
Historical Society, Proceedings, 191 1, contains many bibliographical refer- 
ences. L. A. Coolidge, Orville H. Piatt (1910), is the life of a Senator long 
interested in the Territories. Local histories, in addition to the voluminous 
writings of Hubert Howe Bancroft, are John Hailey, History of Idaho 
(1910), Edmund S. Meany, History of Washington (1909), William A. Linn, 
Story of the Mormons (1902), and Joseph Schafer, History of the Pacific 
Northwest (1905). 



The social changes of the eighties brought statehood to 
seven Territories and internal reconstruction to the near-by 
States. In 1880 the United States comprised three regions 
of nearly equal size, the old States, the Territories, and the 
frontier States that bordered on the Territories. In these 
frontier States there were still free land and abundant 
opportunity. In Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado the ac- 
tual changes of the decade were most extensive and the 
resulting shift in social needs and political ideals was most 

The railroads built more than eleven thousand miles of 
track in these three States between 1880 and 1890, and in 
this region the results of artificial stimulation Agricul- 
produced the greatest immigration. More than turalover- 

.... , ^ • 1 1 -^ ^ production 

a million and a quarter new inhabitants ap- 
peared in them, most of them living on the farm and en- 
gaging with feverish haste in the erection of homes, towns, 
railroads, and the material things of life. Wheat and com 
were the staple commodities of this region. The sugar beet 
began to appear toward the end of the period, but in general 
the farmers devoted most of their efforts to their standard 
crops. There was thrown upon the world a greater mass 
of food than could be immediately absorbed. By 1886 
the cattle industry, that flourished just before the farmers 
came, had passed the period of its greatest profit. The 
falling price of meat due to unregulated production was fol- 
lowed by falling prices of other agricultural products. The 
readiness with which the manufacturers turned to Con- 
gress for relief and asked for protection to improve their 
market was paralleled among the farmers by a similar de- 
mand to raise the prices of their output. 
The steady decline of prices hit with greatest severity 


the industries in which arrangements were made over long 
periods and in which quick readjustments to a change in 
prices were most difficult. The Western and Southern 
farmers equally were dependent for their prosperity upon 
a market price that could not even be estimated when they 
prepared their fields and sowed their crops. The manu- 
facturer could if need be store his output or reduce costs 
by laying off his hands. The farmer with a single crop had 
no such relief and must in general stick to his crop and sell 
it for what the market offered. The few facilities for 
storing cotton in the South were not controlled by farmers 
or managed in their interests. The Northern grain ele- 
vators had been objects of hostility to the farmers who pat- 
ronized them since the Granger period. There appeared 
early in the eighties movements in the Northwest and 
South that looked, as the Grange had done, to the better 
organization of the farmers. The manufacturers had their 
home markets club and abundant means to advertise their 
desires. The agrarian movements were carried on by lesser 
men and showed in their course the poverty and political 
inexperience of most of their supporters. 

The origin of the Farmers' Alliances that appeared in 
most of the Western States before 1880 is to be found in 
Farmers' the continuing consciousness of farmers* prob- 
Alliances |gjj^g jj^^ Grange had passed the crest of its im- 
portance and the Alliance movement which succeeded it was 
a spontaneous growth out of local conditions rather than 
an expansion of a national organization. In October, 1880, 
the National Farmers' Alliance held a mass convention in 
Chicago and completed a loose federal organization. No 
credentials appear to have been required at this convention 
and its permanent chairman permitted any one to partici- 
pate who desired. The motive inspiring its three hundred 
delegates closely resembled that which inspired the Green- 
back Party in the same year. It was an anti-monopoly, 
anti-railroad body that hoped to accomplish results through 
economic cooperation rather than politics. When the or- 
ganization b^ld its next annual convention in 1 88 1, the 


delegates reported the existence of about one thousand 
local alliances with Kansas and Nebraska in the lead. 

The social side of the alliances was similar to that of the 
Grange. In a few instances, where local leadership was 
strong, farmers' coSperative movements were developed 
and maintained general stores or grain elevators for the 
benefit of their members. The movement was so informal 
and the leadership so little known that the records of its 
growth are difficult to trace. Many of its members were 
identified also with the Greenback Party, and in their cor- 
respondence the common aims of the two movements are 
sometimes discussed. "The Farmers are waking up as they 
have not done since the Grange Movement," wrote one 
(rf them in 1882; — **our County alliance is getting into 
working order, and I see calls in all directions for a revival 
of the Alliance Movement." ** We are untrammeled advo- 
cates of Reform, with Rep. proclivities," wrote another 
to Lemuel H. Weller, who was running for Congress in 
Iowa on the Greenback ticket. Jesse Harper, an original 
member of the Republican Party, was speaking continuously 
for the Alliance in the South and West. '* I am speaking for 
the poor man's party," he wrote to Weller, '* hence do not 
charge much. Ten dollars a day and all expenses." From 
Nebraska another leader wrote to Weller: **We have some 
150 farmer Alliances formed in the State. A fair propor- 
tion in your district. Monopoly candidates must stand 
from under as far as the Alliances are concerned. If you 
are a distinctively farmers' candidate and your opponent 
a R.R. attorney or a Monop. candidate, I could perhaps be 
of some service to you." 

The National Alliance reported the existence of 2700 
local alliances in 1883, and its leaders took an active part 
in the reform activities started by the Union Labor Party 
in anticipation of the election of 1888. ** Every day brings 
tidings of the uprising of the people," wrote one of Weller 's 
correspondents in 1886. Another observed that "God is 
killing all the Old Party Leaders pretty fast. My Prayer 
is he will take Cleveland, Manning, Blaine & John Sherman. 


Then we may have some hope finantially [sic] in America." 
The activities of the leaders of the Alliance and of the 
Knights of Labor became closely interlocked. The Na- 
tional Farmers' Alliance developed its greatest strength 
among the Southern States, while Northern farmers tended 
to join the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union. The 
warfare between these two bodies was largely a partisan 
struggle of leaders for individual advantage, but the Alli- 
ance was kept alive among the farmers. Thirty-five thou- 
sand members were claimed by the alliances in the sum- 
mer of 1888 and fifty thousand in 1889. 

The hopes with which farmers settled along the lines of 
the land-grant railroads in the early eighties turned to dis- 
Dr ht ^^^ before the decade ended. The agricultural 
settlements had been worked too far west in 
Kansas and Nebraska, and there, as well as in eastern Col- 
orado and parts of Dakota, were encroaching on the semi- 
arid plains. In ordinary years the rainfall west of central 
Kansas is too scanty to sustain farming. From year to 
year, however, the average fluctuates. In the early eighties 
there was a series of years of excessive rainfall that produced 
good crops nearly all the way to Denver. The new regions 
filled up with newcomers who had no earlier knowledge of 
the country, and there were few old inhabitants to shake 
their heads at the possibility of farming on the high plains. 
The law of averages reasserted itself about 1887 with the 
result that the crops received even less than normal rainfall 
and dried up early in the summers. Local economists, who 
had fancied that the **new science of meteorology had 
changed the climate and increased the rainfall," learned 
their mistake. In all the organizations that appealed to dis- 
contented farmers membership and activity increased as 
the decade neared its end. The attempt to put together a 
Union Labor Party with a solid backing of workers, whether 
industrial or rural, was a failure in 1888, but the materials 
for making such a party became more numerous. The 
Knights of Labor, declining from the importance formerly 
held as the official spokesman of the labor movement, en- 


couraged the overtures for a union with the farmers and 
Grand Master Workman Powderly was a constant figure at 
the farmers* gatherings. 

Both parties made efforts to secure the support of the dis- 
contented. The Republican guarantee of protection for 
farm products in 1888 increased the difficulty with which 
the farmers maintained their identity as a separate move- 
ment, and ** traitors in disguise" made continual efforts 
to dump the Union Labor Party into one or the other of the 
larger organizations. 

In the autumn of 1889 the movement of protest gained 
more momentum and started in upon a train of events that 
led to the creation of an important new third party. In the 
period of agricultural depression the farmers of this new 
frontier learned a lesson that hard times have brought out 
in every frontier region, that the payment of debt is less 
exciting and more painful than the incurring of it. Every 
American frontier community has been short of capital and 
in need of credit which must be obtained from wealthier 
regions. The country west of Missouri and north of Texas 
was settled by farmers most of whom were in debt for the 
cost of migration and the purchase of land, machinery, and 
stock. The per capita debt was heavier than on earlier 
frontiers because the old simplicity of life was gone. The 
frontier family was less content in a cabin than its parents 
had been, and insisted upon a house. There were railroads 
to be built, schools to be constructed, water systems to be 
installed, and machinery to be bought. The credit agen- 
cies were maintained partly by the banks, but largely by 
mortgage companies that lent Eastern money on Western 
farm security, charging interest at the rate of ten to fourteen 
per cent in addition to a premium for making the loan at all. 
The average farmer was in debt beyond his reasonable ex- 
pectation of ability to pay. Hard times destroyed the last 
vestige of the expectation. Facing bankruptcy and de- 
pressed by falling prices, the Western farmer was suscepti- 
ble to the economic theories of those who believed that con- 
ditions could be bettered by making money more plentiful 
and lowering the value of the dollar. 


Free silver was still the hope of the miners who produced 
that metal. In 1890 they found themselves in a political 
The free- situation In which they held the balance of 
silver power in Congress and procured the passage of 

the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. Their propa- 
ganda for free silver was maintained continuously. Copies 
of their pamphlets were sent into the newspaper offices and 
brought to the attention of the assemblies of the Knights of 
Labor and the farmers' societies. In November, 1889, a 
conference of free-silver advocates was held at St. Louis on 
the call of the mining stock exchange of that city. It was 
a miners' movement to raise the price of silver by promoting 
its use as currency. The word ** bimetallism" began to be 
used more widely by the advocates of silver coinage who 
believed that there was some way^ whereby the Gresham 
law might be kept from operating and gold and silver dol- 
lars be kept circulating side by side, with relative weights of 
sixteen to one. There were some who believed that Con- 
gress could by law establish the relative values of silver and 
gold ; others, less confident of national power in this direc- 
tion, thought they could be established by international 
agreement. The silver miner in general persuaded himself 
that the result of free silver or bimetallism would be to re- 
store the price of silver to the commercial ratio of sixteen 
to one. Their purpose of advocating free silver was to 
raise the price of their commodity. If this were not ac- 
complished free silver for them would be a failure. 

In making overtures to the Farmers' Alliance for support 
the silver producers invited aid from a social group whose 
motive in supporting free silver was the direct opposite of 
their own. The only reason why the debtor farmer should 
support free silver was to raise prices by lowering the value 
of a dollar. Free coinage might accomplish this in either 
of two ways. If the Gresham law operated and the cheap 
silver dollar became a medium of exchange, prices would 
rise in inverse ratio to the depreciation of the coin. If, 
however, the Gresham law failed to operate and both coins 
by some miracle of legislation remained in circulation, the 


purchasing value of the dollar would still be lowered by the 
addition of so many silver dollars to the total money of 
the country. If prices rose for either of these reasons, the 
alliances would gain advantage from free silver only in 
proportion as the silver miners lost it. 

The leaders of the Farmers' Alliance joined the miners in 
the St. Louis convention, and in officially adopting free 
coinage espoused a movement that ultimately submerged 
their other demands for reform. They held a second con- 
vention at St. Louis in December, 1889, in which it was 
attempted to subordinate the local differences of the North- 
em and Southern alliances and to make out of them one 
huge agrarian organization. 

The Southern farmers were as susceptible to the ideas of 
inflation as were the Western alliances. The annual cotton 
crop was still financed by crop mortgages with Southern 
the local storekeeper as banker. The Western Alliances 
debt, or investment on capital account, was matched in the 
South by debt created for current maintenance. For the 
same reasons that once induced the South to support the 
Greenback movement, that section now produced wide 
support for free silver; but its attitude toward organization 
for accomplishing results was different from that of the 
Northwest. Conscious of its race problem. Southern opin- 
ion feared new movements that might seriously divide the 
vote of the white population. The Southern alliances pre- 
ferred to get results by pressure in the Democratic primaries. 
The Western alliances had no hope of working through the 
Republican Party and saw their advantage only through 
the organization of an independent party. The attempt at 
a merger in 1889 was unsuccessful, and the matter went 
over for another year. The conditions meanwhile through- 
out the West were steadily becoming worse. General Miles 
in 1890 commented upon the ''terrible results" of drought 
in many States and believed that "should this impending 
evil continue for a series of years, no man can anticipate 
what may follow." 

The passage of the McKinley Bill in October, 1890, was 


the shot that exploded the forces of Western discontent. 
The Republican majority in the lower house was wiped out 
and a new majority was created of Democrats who owed 
their seats to the dissension caused by the alliances in the 
Republican ranks and to the discontent upon which the 
alliances were based. When the annual convention of the 
alliances met at Ocala, Florida, in December, 1890, the re- 
sults of the election were all in, and the time appeared to 
be ripe to consolidate the gains in a new party organiza- 
tion. **It occurs to me," said the chairman of one of the 
local meetings, '*that we are the people, and under the 
name of the ' People's Party' everybody can rally." From 
a different source one of the Knights of Labor suggested 
"that they call it the 'Nationalist Republican Party,'" 
adding, **we are trying to nationalize the Republic, not 
only its politics, but its whole system of production, dis- 
tribution and exchange *We the People I ' was the cry 

of the Sans Culottes during the horrors of the Robespierre 
revolution, and the taint of that horror will stick; don't 
conjure it up now." 

The Ocala conference failed to bring the rival farmers' 
organizations and the Knights of Labor into a union, but 
ThePopu- a group of its delegates after its adjournment 
list Party signed the call for a meeting to be held at Cin- 
cinnati in May, 1891, to form a third political party. The 
''conglomerate conference" was held as called. The new 
party, which was to be known as the "People's Party" or 
the " Populist," in spite of prudential considerations among 
its founders, already had a Senator-elect, Peffer, who had 
been chosen by the Kansas Legislature to succeed the more 
distinguished John J. Ingalls, for whom reform had been 
"an iridescent dream." 

The leaders at Cincinnati were Ignatius Donnelly, of 
Minnesota, and General James B. Weaver, of Iowa, who 
had been the Greenback candidate for President in 1880. 
The convention turned the farmers' movement into a politi- 
cal party, in spite of the obstruction of the Democratic 
alliances in the South, and created the usual national com- 


mittee for the People's Party. The New Orleans Times- 
Democrat described it as "a gathering of all the political 
odds and ends," and the New York Nation, whose sagacity 
weakened when it dealt with Western themes, believed **it 
is not likely that the managers of either of the great political 
parties will give much serious thought henceforth to the 
'People's Party' which was organized in Cincinnati." 

The enthusiasm with which the leaders of the Cincinnati 
convention were greeted at home changed the notion that the 
movement was unimportant. A national conference called 
at Cincinnati met at St. Louis on February 22, 1892, to 
consider plans for a convention to nominate candidates in 
the ensuing campaign. The Chicago Tribune, aware of the 
political danger, began to attack them as ''calamity howl- 
ers" and as "knaves" who sought to deceive simpletons by 
a rotten platform and a debased currency. 


Frank L. McVey, The Populist Movement (1896), is still the most val- 
uable narrative and can be better understood in the light of F. J. Turner, 
"The Problem of the West," in the Atlantic Monthly, September, 1896. 
and Carl Becker, " Kansas,*' in Turner Essays (191 1). Appleton's Annual 
Cyclopedia (1892-97) has useful articles on populism. Among the biogra- 
phies are Clement Dowd, Life of Zebulon B. Vance (1897), and William E. 
Connelley, Ingalls of Kansas (1909), and Life of Preston B, Plumb (1913). 



The national convention of the People's Party met in 
Omaha in July, 1892, to nominate a candidate around whom 
it might be possible to rally the discontented forces of agri- 
culture and industry. The business depression still con- 
tinued and added every month new converts to the farmers' 
cause. Men were less important than principles in the con- 
vention, which finally nominated James B. Weaver, of Iowa, 
as its candidate after considering the possibility of Repub- 
lican dissenters like Judge Walter Q. Gresham, of Indiana, 
or silver advocates like Senator William M. Stewart, of 

The Populist platform, based upon discontent among the 
"plain people," recited a long list of grievances, **in the 
The Popu- midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, 
list platform political, and material ruin. Corruption domi- 
nates the ballot-box, the legislature, the Congress, and 
touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are 
demoralized; most of the States have been compelled to 
isolate the voters at the polling-places to prevent univer- 
sal intimidation or bribery. The newspapers are largely 
subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business 
prostrated; our homes covered with mortgages; labor im- 
poverished; and the land concentrating in the hands of 
the capitalists. The urban workmen are denied the right 
of organization for self-protection; imported pauperized 
labor beats down their wages; a hireling standing army, 
unrecognized by our laws, is established to shoot them 
down, and they are rapidly degenerating into European 
conditions. The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly 
stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented 
in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in 
turn, despise the republic and endanger liberty. From 


the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we .breed 
the two great classes of tramps and miUionaries." 

The demonetization of silver stood at the head of the 
grievances which the Populists declared their intention to 
correct. "A vast conspiracy against mankind has been 
organized . . . and the supply of currency is purposely 
abridged to fatten usurers, bankrupt enterprise, and en- 
slave industry." They demanded monetary reforms in- 
cluding ''free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at 
the present l^al ratio of sixteen to one," an increase in the 
circulating medium to the amount of fifty dollars per capita, 
a national currency to be lent by the Government at two 
per cent, and a graduated income tax, as well as postal sav- 
ings banks. A second group of demands declared for the 
Government ownership of railroads, tel^raph and tele- 
phone. A third group demanded the suppression of alien 
ownership of land, and appealed to the single-tax followers 
of Henry George by asserting that land "is the heritage of 
the people, and should not be monopolized for speculative 
purposes." In an addendum to the platform the party ex- 
pressed its belief in the Australian ballot, reduction of tax- 
ation, liberal pensions, an eight-hour day, the initiative and 
referendum, a single term for the President, and the direct 
election of United States Senators. It condemned protec- 
tion, national subsidies to private corporations in any form, 
and Pinkerton detectives. Tom Watson, one of its vig- 
orous Southern supporters, characterized the demands as 
"Not a Revolt, It is a Revolution." 

While the farmers' movement was crystallizing into the 
People's Party the Administration of Benjamin Harrison 
was running a lukewarm course. Its crushing -pj,^ Harrf- 
defeat in the Congressional elections of 1890 dis- ?>« Admin- 
couraged the hopes of Republican success ia 1892. 
The Democratic Fifty-Second Congress chose Charles F. 
Crisp, of Georgia, as its Speaker in 1891 with a Republican 
minority supporting Reed, and with Thomas E, Watson, 
of Georgia, securing votes of eight Farmers' Alliance mem- 
bers. A few days before the Fifty-Second Congress met, a 


threat of war startled the United States. In Chile, where 
Blaine had sent as Minister his Irish supporter, Patrick 
Egan, a revolution took place in the summer of 1891. The 
open sympathy of Egan with Balmaceda, who like himself 
was anti-English in his views, and who was overturned by 
the revolt, made the American Minister persona non grata 
with the new Government. On October 16 a group of 
American seamen ashore at Valparaiso were attacked, and 
in the course of the ensuing correspondence a note from the 
new Foreign Secretary was offensive to the American Gov- 
ernment. A sharp discussion with the new Government, of 
which Montt was installed as President in December, led to 
an unexpected ultimatum delivered by Harrison and trans- 
mitted to Congress January 25, 1892. An apology was 
peremptorily demanded under threat of war. On the same 
day a voluntary disavowal was received in the State De- 
partment and was being decoded while Congress listened to 
the ultimatum. The episode was unimportant save as to 
its possible consequences, and was probably induced by 
Egan's unfitness for his office. It served to attract attention 
to the ease with which the President might drag the nation 
into war and the inadequacy of existing means with which 
to fight. 

A diplomatic breach with Italy in which the United 
States was the offender occurred earlier in 1891, following 
an exasperating controversy in which Italian immigrants 
were arrayed against the New Orleans police. A group of 
Italians, under suspicion of murder in New Orleans, but 
acquitted by the local police authorities, were lynched by 
a mob on March 14. Popular feeling ran high because of 
the belief that the lynched Italians were the guiding spirits 
of a secret society that had sought to terrify the New 
Orleans police by murder and assault. The Italian Min- 
ister, Fava, denounced the local authorities as ''recreant 
to their duty" for their failure to safeguard the prisoners, 
and asserted the right "to demand and obtain the punish- 
ment of the murderers and an indemnity for the victims." 
This demand was made in brusque fashion under threat of 


severance of diplomatic relations and Fava was withdrawn 
from Washington when the United States was unable to give 
instant compliance. Blaine wrote to Governor NichoUs, 
of Louisiana, that '*the Government of the United States 
must give to the subjects of friendly powers a security which 
it demands for our own citizens when temporarily under a 
foreign jurisdiction." The responsibility was easier to ad- 
mit than it was to obtain redress, or punishment of the 
guilty. No machinery existed by which the United States 
Government could compel the State to punish the guilty or 
to bear the burden of its share of the international duties of 
the National Government. Harrison decried the brusque 
manner of the Italian Government, but forgot the latter 
when Chile became the offender. The matter was ulti- 
mately patched up under the precedent afforded by the 
Lopez riot of 1851. The President maintained that foreign- 
ers were entitled to no better protection than that afforded 
to American citizens, but Congress, upon his recommenda- 
tion and out of sympathy with the persons injured, indem- 
nified their heirs. 

The relations between the President and Secretary 
Blaine attracted increasing attention as the convention of 
1892 drew near. In a letter written in February Blaine 
stated that he was not a candidate, but his loyal friends 
continued to hope that he would yield and insisted upon 
the need for a more popular nominee than Harrison. The 
unusual success of Harrison on the stump was in sharp 
contrast to his unpopularity in his own office. In his per- 
sonal relationships with the party leaders his manners were 
irritating. He offended reformers by appointing to office 
a long list of Republican editors, party hacks, and personal 
associates. The leading party workers were not concili- 
ated, for they got too little. The wave of ballot reform 
sweeping over the country was changing the conditions 
under which campaigns should be fought. The Civil 
Service Commission was allowed to grow in influence and 
Harrison appointed Theodore Roosevelt as one of the Com- 
missioners and upheld him in a vigorous and well-advertised 


fight to save the civil service. Blaine curtly resigned from 
the Cabinet three days before the Republican Convention 
assembled and gave hope to his supporters that he would 
accept a nomination. 

The Republican Convention at Minneapolis was under 
the influence of anti-Blaine men who had no enthusiasm for 
The Re- ^^^ alternative. " B. Harrison would be dead to 
publican start with," wrote Speaker Reed, who was him- 

Convention -- . j«j ^ t>i. i 

self a mmor candidate. There was nearly as 
much support for William McKinley as there was for 
Blaine, but their combined strength did not prevent the 
renomination of Harrison on the first ballot. In spite of 
its defeat in 1890, the Republican Party reafiirmed **the 
American doctrine of protection. . . . We believe that all 
articles which cannot be produced in the United States, 
except luxuries, should be admitted free of duty, and that 
on all imports coming into competition with the products of 
American labor there should be levied duties equal to the 
difl^erence between wages abroad and at home." The party 
demanded bimetallism, but insisted that "every dollar, 
paper or coin, issued by the Government, shall be as good 
as any other." Whitelaw Reid was nominated as Vice- 

The retirement of Blaine from Harrison's Cabinet closed 
his public career. Death had broken up his family within 
Death of the few months preceding, and his own ill-health 
Blaine terminated his life a few months later. Through 

his whole public career he had been within reach of the 
largest success without ever grasping it. He began in 
a generation whose standards of political practice were 
those of the business and society to which they belonged. 
He allowed himself to be placed in positions which could 
never be explained when a changing code of public ethics 
became operative in his later life. His gift of leadership 
and his vision of a harmonious western hemisphere were 
sufficiently marked to enhance the tragedy of his failure to 
deserve and win the greatest rewards in public life. 

Grover Cleveland left the White House in 1889 and took 


up the practice of law in New York City with his political 
career apparently at an end. He had succeeded in compel- 
ling an unruly party to accept his leadership and had been 
beaten upon his own issue at the polls. No other President 
so defeated had come back into national office except John 
Quincy Adams, whose long membership in the House of 
Representatives was more nearly a new and independent 
career than a continuation of his earlier public life. In 
Cleveland's case the rule was changed. Within the next 
two years after his defeat his following for tariff reform was 
increased in number and was strengthened by the support 
of the forces of general discontent. After 1890 there was 
widening recognition that he had been the leader of the 
attack upon the tariff. There was no desire among profes- 
sional politicians to have him back in politics, for, like Harri- 
son, he had been stubborn and unaccommodating. Too 
much a party nxan to please reformers and too little for the 
politicians, his appeal to the voters at large increased in 
strength, and was measured by the calls upon him to dis- 
cuss national problems before popular audiences. Before 
the end of 1891 his personal friends were corresponding on 
a large scale in the hope of organizing the popular move- 
ment of approval so as to compel his renomination by the 
Democratic Party in 1892. Hill, of New York, added to 
the vogue of Cleveland by showing fear of it. At his dic- 
tation the New York convention to nominate delegates to 
the Democratic National Convention was summoned three 
months ahead of time and endorsed Hill for the presidency 
in the vain attempt to head off the Cleveland movement. 
The New York World, the leader of the Democratic dailies, 
advised against the snap convention. Hill's manifest un- 
easiness strengthened the Cleveland movement, as well as 
the fact that Hill's opposition might be construed as an 
endorsement of Cleveland's merits. 

The Democratic Convention at Chicago contained a wide 
diversity of opinion upon the issues of the day. The tend- 
ency of Populism and the Alliance movement was to sepa- 
rate Republican converts from that party, but to create 


a populistic element within the Democrats. Governor 
Boies, of Iowa, had a following for the nomination, because, 
with Populist support, he had been elected in 1889 and 1891 
to the leadership of a State normally Republican. Single- 
taxers and free-traders sought to influence the convention. 
Tom Johnson, of Cleveland, one of their leaders and an inti- 
mate adviser of Henry George, devoted himself to defeating 
the hopes of Eastern Democrats for a straddle on the tariff. 
Later, as member of Congress, he used his '* leave to print" 
in order to read Henry George's volume on Protection or Free 
Trade into the Congressional Record, and used his frank to 
circulate more than a million copies of it before election. 
At the close of the convention he was told by William C. 
Whitney, Cleveland's first Secretary of the Navy, '* I would 
rather have seen Cleveland defeated than to have had that 
fool free-trade plank adopted." 

Devotion to Cleveland was the unifying sentiment of the 
convention. He was nominated on the first ballot with 
Renomi- ^^^ party leaders in New York and Maryland, 
nation of David B. Hill and Arthur P. Gorman, openly 
disgruntled, and with the Populist members of 
the party dissatisfied by his attitude on the currency. The 
nomination of Adlai E. Stevenson, of Illinois, a free-silver 
advocate, for the vice-presidency, only partly appeased the 
latter group. 

A ''force" bill that had been urged by Republicans in the 
preceding Congress served to stiffen the Democratic ranks 
The can- among the Southern States in the canvass of 
vassof 1892. The measure was inspired by Northern 

^ resentment at the exclusion of the negro from 

the franchise. With open defiance of the Fourteenth and 
Fifteenth Amendments, the South prevented the negro from 
exercising his right to vote. Before 1890 most negroes ac- 
cepted the inevitable and gave up the attempt to vote, thus 
reducing the opposition to the Southern Democratic Party 
to a n^ligible minority. In the close elections from 1876 to 
1888 the North bewailed the loss of the Republican votes 
that the negro might have cast. The Republican platform 


of 1888 charged "that the present administration and the 
Democratic majority in Congress owe their existence to the 
suppression of the ballot by a criminal nullification of the 
Constitution and laws of the United States." Under the 
leadership of Henry Cabot Lodge and with the support of 
Northern Republican leaders a force bill to protect the ne- 
groes in their right to vote passed the House in 1890. It 
was dropped in the Senate in the following session after the 
party reverses of November. The South kept its memory 
alive by asserting that the reelection of Harrison would be 
followed by enactment of such a law. The Southern States 
began to follow the example of Mississippi in accomplish- 
ing virtual disfranchisement of the negro by means of an 
education test. 

The lifeless canvass of 1892 was due to lack of general 
enthusiasm for Harrison, uncertainty as to the operation 
of the new secret ballot laws which were in effect in some 
thirty-five States, and the discouragement of inroads of 
Populism among the Republican farmers. In several of the 
Western States the new party was clearly preparing to take 
possession of the whole local government. *'Any man in 
the country standing upon the doctrine of high protection 
would have been defeated," said Senator Shelby M. CuUom. 
'*The people sat down upon the McKinley Tariff Bill, and 
they have never gotten up. They were thoroughly imbued 
with the feeling that the party did not do right in revising 
the tariff up instead of down." 

Cleveland was reelected in November by a slight plural- 
ity over Harrison because of the Populist secession. The 
vote for Weaver was 1,040,886. In six States, all of them 
Northern or Western, the Populist Party picked up twenty- 
two electoral votes. In many others the Populist vote, 
drawn from the Republican total, threw the victory to 
Democratic candidates. What was true of the presidency 
was true of Congress; because of the schism the Democrats 
gained the Senate and retained control of the House. • 

For the first time since the Civil War the United States 
National Government was entirely in the hands of Demo- 


crats when Cleveland was reinaugurated in 1893. The new 
Cleveland's majority was in no sense homogeneous, but in- 
second eluded around its Democratic nucleus an ti- tariff 

Republicans from the East, anti-monopoly Re- 
publicans from the West, and dissatisfied Republican re- 
formers like Wayne MacVea^h, Carl Schurz, and Walter 
Q. Gresham. "Mr. Cleveland had recognized in the last 
election a public movement almost equivalent to the crea- 
tion of a new party," said the Christian Union in comment 
upon his Cabinet list. Official announcement of the person- 
nel of the new Government was made early in February. 
Gresham, who had been a Republican until within a few 
months, was made Secretary of State. John G. Carlisle, 
the free-trade leader of the party in the House, was ap- 
pointed to the Treasury, while Daniel Lamont, private 
secretary in Cleveland's first term, became Secretary of 
War. Under Lamont the function of private secretary had 
been elevated to a new level. The demands upon the time 
and attention of the President had been accentuated be- 
cause of the long period in which the party had been out 
of power. Lamont protected the President with an urban- 
ity and decision that brought him immediate recognition. 
The Navy Department was entrusted to Hilary A. Herbert, 
of Alabama, who had been in Congress for twenty years 
and had recently acted as chairman of the Committee on 
Naval Affairs of the House. Richard Olney, of Massachu- 
setts, became Attorney-General. The pledge of Cleveland 
in his second inaugural was to accomplish the reformation 
of the tariff, to prevent the further debasement of the cur- 
rency, and to continue the reform of the civil service. • 
There was wide comment upon the fact that the new 
Cabinet differed from that of Harrison, in that it included 
no social leaders and no men of great wealth. The contrast 
was less due to a new principle in Cabinet selection than to 
a shifting of social standards. Wealth had become more 
ostentatious in the decade that was closing. City life had 
become more luxurious, and with the wide distribution of 
prosperity, luxury and personal service had appeared in 


well-to-do homes where simplicity had formerly prevailed. 
European travel was every year introducing new ways of 
life into the United States. At the World's Fair, about to 
be opened in Chicago in commemoration of the discovery of 
America, the display of American inventive ingenuity was 
given a setting of beauty amid new standards of art and 
architecture. In New York City, a few days after the in- 
auguration, W. W. Astor opened his five-million-dollar 
Hotel Waldorf, the first institution of its kind in the new 
American city life. The ostentation here was a sharp an- 
tithesis to the depression of the Western States and the 
demand of farmers for immediate relief. 


G. F. Parker, who compiled the Democratic campaign textbook of 
1892, has written Recollections of Grover Cleveland (1909), which is supple- 
mented on the personal side by Richard Watson Gilder, Grover Cleveland, 
A Record of Friendship (1910). Matilda Gresham has collected the papers 
of her husband in Life of Walter Q, Gresham (1920). Fred E. Haynes, 
James Bird Weaver (19 19), reveals the continuity of membership among 
the reform parties. Abigail Dodge, under her familiar pseudonym of Gail 
Hamilton, set to work on her biography of Blaine immediately after his 



The silver dollar was worth sixty-five cents in gold when 
Cleveland was reinaugurated. In accordance with the 
Bland-Allison Act, and the Sherman Act which succeeded it, 
some 417,000,000 silver dollars had been coined since 1878. 
Of these, $362,000,000 were in Treasury vaults, in addition 
to uncoined silver worth $118,000,000, because of the in- 
convenience with which they were handled and a growing 
public reluctance to accept depreciated money. Unlike 
the greenbacks there was no promise to redeem the silver 
dollars in gold, and only the unwillingness of each National 
Administration since Hayes to force them upon the public, 
and the surplus revenue that made such action unnecessary, 
averted the catastrophe of a depreciated standard. West- 
em farmers who demanded free silver showed no willing- 
ness to use the silver money already on hand. Leaders in 
the demand were frequently embarrassed by the exposure of 
the fact that while calling loudly for free silver, they wrote 
into their own mortgage contracts clauses calling for repay- 
ment in standard gold coin. 

When John G. Carlisle took over the Treasury Depart- 
ment the caish balance in the Treasury was a source of ap- 
Statc of the prehension. President Harrison and Secretary 
Treasury, Foster, said the Nation in its issue preceding the 

inauguration, **are watching the dollars in the 
Treasury with unconcealed anxiety, and hoping against 
hope that March 4 will come without an actual crash." 
The decline in imports due to Western and Southern hard 
times had reduced the revenue from the tariff. The silver 
provisions of the McKinley Bill reduced it still further. 
Appropriations were consuming it more rapidly than ever 
before, and it seemed likely that in the fiscal year 1893 
there would be an actual national deficit. 

THE PANIC OF 1893 185 

The quality of the money included in the Treasury bal- 
ance was as discouraging as its amount. Silver dollars, 
which the public would not use willingly and which were in 
vicarious circulation (through silver certificates) only be- 
cause the small denominations of Treasury notes had been 
withdrawn, became each month a larger proportion of the 
balance. The old custom of making most of the payments 
to the Treasury in the form of gold had ceased. Debtors of 
the Government everywhere took advantage of the unwill- 
ingness of Treasury officials to force silver into circulation 
and began to sort out from their currency on hand gold, 
which they hoarded, while they paid their silver and paper 
to the Government. The percentage of gold receipts was 
declining. The Sherman Act of 1890 was responsible for 
an aggravation of the currency troubles. Under this law 
the Treasury bought silver bullion, paying for it with legal- 
tender Treasury notes. It immediately occasioned an in- 
flation of the currency to the amount of the monthly pur- 
chase; as the bullion was subsequently coined into dollars 
the legal tenders were withdrawn in amounts to match the 
silver dollars that went into circulation, but before this date 
arrived the original holders of the legal tenders turned them 
into gold at the Treasury and carried off the gold. 

Every month the Sherman Act not only increased the 
amount of cheap silver money as the Bland-Allison Act had 
done, but also reduced the gold balance in the Treasury 
upon which the stability of the inverted pyramid depended. 
The gold reserve which Secretary Sherman had put together 
in anticipation of resumption in 1879 was carried on the 
Treasury balance thereafter as a separate item. Amountiftg 
to about one hundred million dollars, it came to be accepted 
as a low-water mark below which the gold could not be 
allowed to fall without endangering the standard of cur- 
rency. In the last months of the Harrison Administration 
the commercial world observed the decline of the Treasury 
balance and the decreasing proportion c5f gold that it con- 
tained, and before Harrison left office it was for some weeks 
a matter of chance alone whether he could preserve the 


hundred-million-dollar gold reserve intact. A few weeks 
after Carlisle took over the Treasury the shrinking of the 
gold reserve below this mark became the visible index of 
financial panic. 

The chief elements in the panjc of 1893 were financial 
apprehension and over-investment. The former of these 
Causes of ^^^ inspired by the fear that the gold dollar 
the panic would cease to be the standard of value and that 

in its place a depreciated silver dollar or, even 
worse, an issue of irredeemable paper, might force gold to 
a premium as had been done during the Civil War. The 
attempt at bimetallism was still a failure. The relative 
weight of the gold and silver dollars, fixed at sixteen to one 
in 1835, had no effect upon the market value of the metals. 
The bullion value of the silver dollar had declined steadily 
since 1873. Both dollars were still legal tender, but most 
of the silver was in the Treasury instead of in circulation. 
Every owner of invested capital had financial reason to fear 
the change from gold to silver standard which would reduce 
the value of his dollars in proportion to the depreciation of 
silver. Persons living on fixed salaries and all wage-earners 
were in a similar condition. If such a shift were produced 
unavoidably, it would cause irremediable catastrophe; if 
produced deliberately, it would be repudiation and a crime. 

Nervousness as to the safety of the gold standard was 
most pronounced in the Eastern and Middle States, and 
was intensified after 1890 by two strong forces. The in- 
crease of silver money and the decline of the gold reserve 
were ominous external symptoms of weakness. The swell- 
ing Western demand for free silver, which stood at the head 
of the list of social panaceas, was still more ominous, as 
revealing a popular intent that might be successful. Fear 
of free silver, as it became more general, stimulated an in- 
creased hoarding of gold and by this accelerated the shift 
toward the silver basis. 

Over-investment had by 1890 produced in the United 
States an unsound condition that would have compelled 
liquidation of debts and an ensuing depression even if there 

THE PANIC OF 1893 187 

had been no currency apprehensions to unsettle the nerves 
of business. Since 1873 the United States had passed 
through one of the economic cycles that revolved at irregu- 
lar intervals through the nineteenth century. The years 
1819, 1837, 1857, and 1873 marked the completion of ear- 
lier revolutions, and the United States was in 1890 rap- 
idly approaching the end of another period and the need to 
balance its books and begin again. 

With falling prices and rising wg^es typical of the period 
after 1873 the level of social welfare in America was higher 
than it ever had been. But with new inventions and greater 
ease in fulfilling old needs the demand for comfort and lux- 
ury was steadily growing. The farmer boy, bred to the 
simplicity of the country, expected to live better when he 
moved to town. The comforts of the city became available 
on the farm through the enticing advertising pages of the 
farm papers and the catalogues of the mail-order houses. 
There were better opportunities to educate the children in 
the State universities and the enlarged Eastern colleges. 
There were railroads to be built, farms to be paid for and 
stocked, cities to be extended into their suburbs. The in- 
creasing annual accumulation of wealth was met by more 
rapidly increasing demands for expenditure and investment. 
Nearly every year after 1879 saw heavier pressure upon the 
resources available for permanent investment, and brought 
nearer the date at which new projects would have to stop 
through lack of capital, at which going projects would be 
forced to get along upon smaller loans, and at which bank- 
ruptcy would confront not only speculative business, but 
every business that depended upon continued credit. 

The cycles of prosperity and panic have always been de- 
termined by the ratio of production of wealth to its use and 
investment. They have been further modified by psycho- 
logical conditions. In the years of business depression 
after 1873, nien held themselves down to safe and sane 
business, and took few avoidable risks. The gains of busi- 
ness were small, but relatively sure. In the next five years 
the accumulated savings of a scared and frugal society be- 


gan to press for means of safe investment, and promoters 
of new ventures, assured by their avoidance of failure in the 
careful years, regained their nerve. About the date of re- 
sumption money became available for enterprises that were 
well endorsed. Men of good repute, like Henry Villard, 
could obtain funds even for unmentioned ends, and the 
enlarged profits of business both increased the available 
capital and encouraged the spirit to risk again. The failure 
of Grant and Ward in 1884 revealed the existence of specu- 
lators of doubtful honor, but did not check the movement 
for speculative investment. The rumors of great fortunes 
to be made in mines or in railroads, in manufacture or in 
cattle-raising, brought within reach of business the isolated 
savings of cautious individuals and kept filled up that fund 
out of which every new venture must be financed. In the 
long run no permanent investment can be made except it 
be paid for out of the capital that some one has produced 
and saved. That fund is not without limit, and after a 
dozen years of speculation society is warranted in suspect- 
ing that it may have approached the margin. When the 
margin is reached, and there is no longer capital available 
for the former scale of speculation or investment, something 
must yield. And if at this moment some financial accident 
scares the world, and men generally try to save some of their 
property by selling part of it at a forced sale, no one can 
foretell the extent of the panic that may ensue. 

The panic of 1873 was precipitated by the failure of Jay 
Cooke. That of 1857 came after the collapse of the Ohio 
Life and Trust Company. In 1893, after three years of 
warning and agricultural depression, with fear as to the 
value of all property aroused by the danger of the silver 
basis, the panic was precipitated by the failure of the gold 
reserve to keep above the level of $100,000,000. 

The Democratic Party, organized around the issue of 
tariff reform, was unprepared to meet the issue presented 
by a financial panic caused by dread of a silver currency. 
Like the Republican Party, it had avoided a clear expres- 
sion of views upon the currency, and had adhered to safe 

THE PANIC OF 1893 189 

and unmeaning phrases that all money must be of equal 
value and that there must be no discrimination against 
one of the traditional metals. Both parties included voters 
who desired free silver, whether from the hope of raising 
its price or that of decreasing the value of the dollar; and 
both contained others to whom free silver was anathema. 

In 1892, with the People's Party calling for **free and un- 
limited coinage of silver and gold" and a circulation of 
fifty dollars per capita, the Republicans asked for "the 
use of both gold and silver as standard money ... so that 
the purchasing and debt-paying power of the dollar, whether 
of silver, gold, or paper, shall be at all times equal." The 
Democrats called "the Republican legislation known as the 
Sherman Act of 1890" a "cowardly makeshift," and also 
held "to the coinage of both gold and silver without dis- 
crimination against either metal," but insisted that all of 
either variety of money, as well as paper, must be kept at 
par in coin. Neither party ventured to say how any nation 
could coin both metals freely and yet avoid the fact that 
two dollars of unequal value are not the same. With vague 
phrases which any advocate might twist into at least a 
partial endorsement of his own demand, the two great 
parties dodged the issue of the currency. 

International agreement was again invoked to try to 
accomplish what could not be done by the United States 
alone. The suggestion that the two dollars be brought 
together in value by putting more silver into the silver 
coin until it was worth a dollar in gold was rejected. Such 
policy would defeat the aim of the mine-owners who wanted 
a higher price for their bullion ; and of the farmer inflation- 
ists who wanted cheaper money. It being clearly impossi- 
ble for the United States by law to raise the price of silver, 
a monetary conference was convened at Brussels upon in- 
vitation of the United States to consider fixing such price 
by international action. Twenty nations were present in 
the conference that sat in November, 1892; but their long 
discussions only brought out the fact that most of the im- 
portant nations had adopted the gold standard, and were 


satisfied with it. Like the preceding meetings of 1878 and 
1 88 1, this conference took no action to help the United 
States out of its currency dilenuna. 

Neither party was pledged to a clear policy respecting 
silver in 1892, but there was no doubt where Cleveland 
stood. Before he was first inaugurated in 1885 he went out 
of his way to show his belief in the gold standard and the 
necessity to hold the country upon a gold basis. By ad- 
ministrative acts he prevented the Bland-Allison dollars 
from driving gold to a premium. The same policy was fol- 
lowed by his successor, who urged in vain the repeal of the 
Sherman Act. With panic confronting the new Adminis- 
tration in 1893, and with Cleveland clear upon the action 
needed, the Democratic majority that had been organized to 
revise a tariff was called upon to reestablish the currency 
upon a safe basis. It had no mandate upon this, and no 
agreement among its members. It faced wreck upon a new 
problem before it had time even to consider the work for 
which it had been preparing since 1887. 

The gold reserve fell below $100,000,000 on April 21, 
1893. The alternatives before the Treasury were to borrow 
gold and thus maintain the reserve, or to pay the obliga- 
tions of the United States in any lawful money, gold, silver, 
or paper, and permit the cheapest form of the currency to 
shift the value of the dollar to its own basis. Gresham's 
law, that bad money drives out good, had operated too 
often for there to be any doubt as to the consequence of 
paying public debts in silver. On the other hand, if gold 
were borrowed, the necessary publicity of this remedy would 
increase the nervousness and accelerate the run upon the 
Treasury for the redemption of paper in gold. And every 
month by law the Treasury was forced to buy four and a 
half million ounces of silver, and pay for it in another issue 
of legal-tender notes. Not until August did the gold re- 
serve get back to its normal amount, and in the meantime 
financial advice and political maneuver were focused upon 
the Sherman Act. 

Commercial failures were numerous during the spring 

THE PANIC OF 1 893 191 

of 1893, beginning with that of the Reading Railroad in 
January. As nervousness increased, banks con- panic and 
tracted their loans, and speculators unloaded <i«pr««»on 
their holdings to save themselves or were sold out to cover 
their margins. In May there was a stampede for safety, 
with failures of brokers, banks, railroads, and industrials 
on every hand. The New York Clearing-House resorted 
to the use of certificates instead of currency to settle bal- 
ances, while the report in June that the mints of India had 
ceased the coinage of silver tended to lower the price of 
that metal still further and make panic worse. On June 30 
Cleveland summoned Congress to meet in special session 
on August 7, 1893, to repeal the Silver Purchase Act. 

Not until nearly thirty years later did it become conunon 
knowledge that at the crisis of the panic the life of Cleve- 
land was in danger. Many years later the surgeon, Dr. 
W. W. Keen, who was called in to operate, told of the grave 
condition affecting the roof of Cleveland's mouth, and the 
hesitation with which an operation which might affect his 
life was undertaken. Secrecy was observed at the time be- 
cause of the belief that knowledge of the President's condi- 
tion, with a Vice-President, Adlai Stevenson, who believed 
in free silver, in the offing, would make the panic worse. 
Between the call for the special session and the date of its 
meeting Cleveland left Washington, ostensibly for a cruise 
on the yacht of New York friends. The operation took place 
while the yacht lay at anchor in the East River, and Cleve- 
land was then protected from public observation at his 
home on Buzzard's Bay until he had recovered from its 

A storm of political dissatisfaction broke upon the Presi- 
dent when his intention to call a special session was made 
known. To the silver Democrats of the West Repeal of 
and South the act seemed like apostasy to the '^^ ^^f?' 

t ^t t r* "^*" Sliver 

mterests of the common people. Charles S. Purchate 
Thomas, of Denver, in an open letter to Secre- ^^ 
tary Carlisle charged him with abandoning these interests 
and demanded that the Government take advantage of its 


privilege to pay debts in any kind of lawful money and 
force the silver dollars into circulation. Governor Davis 
H. Waite, of Colorado, whom the Populists had elected in 
the preceding year, announced that it would be the duty 
of his State to coin silver dollars at the old ratio on its own 
account and make them legal tender, and indulged in rhet- 
oric that made him nationally famous after a silver con- 
vention in July, where he declared, "It is better, infinitely 
better, that blood should flow to the horses' bridles rather 
than our national liberties should be destroyed/' On 
August I the silver forces met in convention in Chics^o. 
The representatives of the mine-owners were present, 
''Bloody-Bridles" Waite was there, with Ignatius Donnelly, 
a spokesman of the Populists, and Terence V. Powderly, of 
the Knights of Labor. The convention denied that the 
Sherman Act was the cause of the hard times and ascribed 
them to the ** crime of 1873," a conspiracy of the moneyed 
classes to outlaw silver, and by limiting new coinage to 
gold, a single metal, to raise the value of the dollar for their 
own advantage. 

Crisp was reelected Speaker when Congress assembled 
on August 7, over Reed, the Republican leader, and Simp- 
son, of Kansas, who was supported by seven Populists' 
votes. Elected the preceding year **to change our tariff 
policy from a protective to a revenue basis,'* Congress was 
now obliged by the panic to change the financial policy of 
the country, for which neither party was prepared. Reed 
and most of the minority members responded to the demand 
of the President that the Sherman Act be repealed, and with 
the gold Democrats, made a majority that passed the re- 
peal bill through the House before the end of August. 

The acute panic of 1893 was ended when the action of 
the House of Representatives indicated that the repeal was 
to be accomplished. The resulting confidence that the 
National Administration would not be a party to the depre- 
ciation of the currency strengthened the nerve of business. 
Depression continued for at least four years, but the vio- 
lent liquidation was over. The leadership of the President 

THE PANIC OF 1893 193 

not only held Congress to the repeal, but carried the issue 
into the party conventions of the year. In Nebraska 
J. Sterling Morton, Secretary of Agriculture, and a strong 
gold Democrat, sought endorsement of the policy of Cleve- 
land at the Democratic Convention in October. He was 
opposed by a silver faction in the convention under the 
leadership of Congressman William Jennings Bryan, whom 
the Outlook described as the finest orator and best thinker 
among the free-trade and the free-silver Democrats. When 
Bryan was beaten in the convention and announced his 
shift to Populism, it commented, ** There is no man in the 
West whose change of political affiliation is of greater con- 
sequence." The repeal of the Sherman Act was signed on 
November i, after Bland and Bryan had tried in vain to 
operate a filibuster against it. ''Eighteen months ago," 
said the Nation, '*the coolest observers thought the chances 
favored free coinage, and we certainly escaped from it only 
by the narrowest squeak." 


F. W. Taussig, The Silver Situation in the United States (1892); J. L. 
Laughlin, Bi-MetaUism in the United States (1896); Charles J. Bullock, 
Monetary History of the United States (1900); and M. S. Wildman, Money 
Inflation in the United States (1905), devote much space to the topic of free 
silver. W. H. Harvey, Coin's Financial School (1894), is a persuasive 
free-silver tract widely used for campaign purposes and answered by 
Horace White, Coin's Financial Fool: or, The Artful Dodger Exposed (1896). 
W. Jett Lauck, Causes of the Panic of iSgj (1907), is a clear and useful 
analysis. Reference should also be made to the files of the Arena, the 
Forum, the North American Review, and Sound Currency. 



The controversy over free silver precipitated another 
episode in the age-long controversy between those with 
Free silver Hioney and those without. In its simplest form 
and class free silver was a device whose widest appeal was 

to farmers burdened with the debts incurred in 
the speculative decade just ended and exasperated by the 
continuous downward trend of prices. Wheat, com, and 
cotton, each the chief financial reliance of a great and uni- 
form section of the United States, were all so low as to 
endanger the stability of their respective regions. Free 
silver promised certainly to increase the amount of cur- 
rency and probably to lower the value of the dollar. It 
was easy to convince the debtor section of the country that 
the falling prices were due to the conspiracy to raise the 
price of gold. 

The opposition to free silver was as instinctive among 
the prosperous elements in society as belief in free silver 
was among the debtor farmers. The strong probability 
that free silver would bring the Gresham law into operation, 
drive gold to a premium, and lower the purchasing value 
of the dollar, inspired fear amounting to terror and panic 
throughout the East and North. In these regions free sil- 
ver appeared to be repudiation and deliberate dishonesty. 
The social cleavage between debtor and creditor classes ex- 
posed by the free-silver movement was intensified by the 
fact of a sectional division along similar lines. The North 
was predisposed to the gold standard in spite of party. The 
South and West, in spite of party, were against it. 

The currency dispute involved more than the financial 
interests of either class. In a technical way, like the green- 
back controversy, it involved an examination of existing 
laws with a view to determining the rights of the Govern- 


ment of the United States under its statutes. The dis- 
cretionary power of the Government to use *' lawful money " 
in meeting its obligations, and to determine by law what 
should constitute lawful money, was made clear by a study 
of the currency legislation. Either silver or greenbacks 
might be used to meet most of the obligations, without 
infringing any existing law. 

Behind the question of the legal right lay the larger 
questions of moral right and of financial expediency. Most 
Americans in the heat of the controversy were too warmly 
biased by their selfish interests to be detached judges of the 
larger issues. It was only a minority which approached the 
controversy without bias toward class or subjection to self- 
interest. These in general took the view that Grant had 
taken of the greenbacks and the public debt, and that 
Hamilton had taken of the Revolutionary debt which he 
found outstanding when he became Secretary of the Treas- 
ury under Washington. From the grounds of highest pub- 
lic expediency it was wise policy for the Government never 
to take advants^e of a technicality in its own interest, and 
to interpret its obligations in the broadest way. Public 
credit depends upon public expectation that it will be gen- 
erously maintained. For the Government deliberately to 
force cheap money into circulation appeared to these not 
only a crime against honesty, but a costly departure from 
sound expediency. It was deplorable that currency should 
fluctuate in value, but it would be criminal to produce such 
fluctuation for the purpose of transferring wealth from one 
social class to another. 

The realignment of parties with free silver as the dom- 
inant issue began with the repeal of the Sherman Law. It 
was impeded by the fact that free silver was only one of a 
long list of reforms urged for the benefit of the plain people, 
and that many of these reforms were inherently sound. 
The widespread commercial depression affected the forces 
of industry as well as those of agriculture. While farmers 
felt that they had lost their market, workmen knew that 
they had lost their jobs. The existing discontent was 


wider than the distribution of any single class, and the dis- 
contented readily believed that the Government was in 
league with those who would exploit the interests of the 

The World's Columbian Exposition was opened in Chi- 
cago in May, 1893, under conditions resembling those amid 
World's which the Centennial Exhibition had been held 
Columbian in Philadelphia, in 1876. Hard times prevented 
xposi ion ^^^j^ from realizing its fullest success as a public 
spectacle. A comparison of the exhibits, however, shows 
the long distance that the United States had traveled in less 
than two decades. The ugly, straggling warehouses built 
in Fairmount Park to house the Centennial bore no re- 
semblance to the wonder city that sprang into life around 
the lagoons at Jackson Park. In their very framework the 
buildings were a measure of the revolution. Structural 
steel made possible at Chicago new effects in size and shape. 
The plaster decorations, here used for the first time on a 
large scale, concealed the skeletons and gave them the ap- 
pearance of marble palaces. At night they were outlined 
by living fire with incandescent lamps, while searchlights 
played upon them from all directions. For the first time 
American architecture achieved an international triumph. 

The contents of the buildings were as significant as their 
externals. In the fields of electricity and transportation 
they showed the vast change since the last world's fair. 
The trains of Pullman and Wagner palace cars revealed a 
luxury in travel that was new. Serious visitors relieved the 
weariness of observation by attending the conferences that 
were held on all conceivable subjects. The more frivolous 
spent their moments in relaxation along the ''Midway," 
where they found amusements ranging from Buffalo Bill's 
•'Wild West" to the "Streets of Cairo." The fair was less 
than a complete success because of the effects of the panic 
of 1893. 

The open revolt of the farmers against the conditions of 
their economic life was paralleled by that of labor, whose 
unrest was intensified by the depression and panic. In the 


spring of 1892 the Nation commented upon a strike among 
the steel workers in the Pittsburgh district and was im- 
pressed by the novel fact that public sympathy for the 
strikers appeared among all classes of society. The well- 
to-do had generally regarded the earlier strikes as revolu- 
tionary outbreaks. Public opinion was changing because 
— the Nation thought — of an awakening to the abuses 
incident to a protective system under the domination of 

The Pittsburgh strikes of 1892 affected the Homestead 
Works of Andrew Carnegie. Since the close of the Civil 
War the steel industries had undergone great The age 
changes due to the new methods of making steel ^^ ®^^* 
and its wholesale application in industry. The steel rail 
for the first time provided the steam railroads with an ade- 
quate bearing surface for their rolling stock, and enabled 
them to increase the size and weight of locomotives and 
cars, to lengthen the train and increase its tonnage capacity. 
One of the contributory causes of the strikes of 1877 was 
the growing practice of running double-header trains, with 
two locomotives, but only one crew of trainmen. The re- 
sulting economy was coveted by the railroads, but the 
trainmen's unions fought the practice because it lessened 
the number of jobs. 

With steel available the railroads were rebuilt after 1879, 
and the new electric roads that supplanted horse-cars in 
city streets used steel rails from their inception. Bridges 
and trestles were remodeled with the new material. Wood, 
iron, and stone became only supplementary to steel, while 
cantilever bridges made it possible to carry the tracks over 
obstacles that had hitherto been impsissable. The car-ferry 
lost its vogue as a means of crossing rivers. The Brook- 
lyn Bridge was the best known of the new monuments of 
transportation, and in most of the large cities new terminals 
with huge steel train sheds made their appearance. 

City architecture entered upon a new era with the appear- 
ance of the steel truss. The limit of height in stone or 
brick construction had long been reached in the cities of 


Europe, and even the wide use of the passenger elevator did 
not greatly increase it. The height was determined by the 
space available for foundations and supporting walls, and 
after six or seven stories had been piled up these became 
so wide that further building was prohibitive. The steel 
frame made it possible to reduce the foundation area, and 
hang the walls upon the metal skeleton instead of thicken- 
ing them to bear the burden. The maximum height rose 
at once, and before 1890 office buildings appeared in New 
York, described by contemporaries as ** sky-scrapers.*' The 
twelve or fourteen stories of the first sky-scrapers were 
only a beginning of changes that altered not only the fun- 
damental conditions of city life, but created unlimited de- 
mand for steel shapes. 

Naval architecture underwent similar changes between 
1865 and 1890. The wooden ship that had formerly car- 
ried the commerce of the world was forced into a sub- 
ordinate position first by iron vessels and then by steel. 
The navies of the world were similarly transformed after 
the duel between the Monitor and the Merrimac exhibited 
the fighting strength of the ironclad. Before 1880 the 
United States had no steel works capable of manufacturing 
the heavy plates of steel that were used as defensive arma- 
ment or the huge ingots out of which great naval guns were 
forged and turned. Before 1890 the steel industry was 
ready for each of these tasks. 

Pittsburgh became the center of the steel industry during 
the eighties because of its fortunate position with reference 
to deposits of iron and coal and of the network of rail and 
water routes that gave cheap and competitive transporta- 
tion. The steel industry did not show as much trend to- 
ward monopoly as did petroleum. There was no single 
factor whose control enabled any one group of individuals 
to dominate the industry. Wealth and power were ac- 
quired by the men most skillful in handling the various 
factors of labor, raw materials, and transportation. Among 
these, Andrew Carnegie rose to the leading position. 

The unionization of the steel industry was begun sporad- 


ically in the later sixties when the Sons of Vulcan and other 
craft unions appeared among the mills. In 1 876 The Home- 
several of these unions were merged in the »^ead»tnke 
Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. In 
1892 the Amalgamated Association began a strike in the 
Homestead plant of the Carnegie Steel Company. 

Carnegie was in Europe when the strike broke out, while 
his works were under the direct management of one of his 
younger associates, Henry Clay Prick. Had Carnegie been 
present the strike might have been compromised, since his 
general policy was one of conciliation toward his men. 
Prick, however, refused to yield. The demands of the As- 
sociation were in part for their recognition by the company 
and in part against a reduction of the wages for piece-work. 
The latter controversy was common in all industries be- 
cause of the rapid substitution of machinery for human 
labor. When the piece-worker was aided by the machine, 
he desired the same rate with a resulting increased wage 
due to the use of the machine. The employer's tendency 
was to lower the piece-rate so as to leave the weekly wages 
of the workman where they had been. 

In the course of the Homestead strike the Amalgamated 
Association picketed the works, while Prick surrounded them 
with a mob-proof fence and prepared to bring in non-union 
men or scabs to break the strike. As an additional measure 
of defense he employed the Pinkerton Detective Agency to 
furnish guards for the mills. On July 6, 1892, a pitched 
battle occurred in which strikers and their sympathizers 
attacked a boatload of Pinkerton detectives who were being 
convoyed up the river to the works. The Governor of 
Pennsylvania called out the militia to maintain order and 
the use of private guards was denounced by most of the 
sympathizers with the strikers. 

Public sympathy was turned against the strike by an event 
for which the Amalgamated Association had no responsi- 
bility. An anarchist named Berkman forced his way into 
Prick's office and sought to assassinate him with knife and 
revolver. The outrage occurred at the crisis of the strike. 


In the wave of revulsion against it the union lost its cause. 

The Homestead strike played a large part in the election 
of 1892, serving as a text for those who sought to turn labor 
against the Republican Party and to prove a corrupt al- 
liance between wealth and the forces of the Government. 
It was claimed that the Republican Party was insincere in 
its habitual tariff argument. The two defenses of pro- 
tection were to make America independent of Europe and to 
protect the American workman against the competition of 
low-grade immigrant labor. The Democratic orator now 
attacked the party for maltreating and shooting up the work- 
man for whom it professed so warm an interest. 

The depression of 1893 made employment scarce and re- 
sulted in attempts by employers to lower wages. In 1894 
The Pull- the most notable of the strikes against the lower- 
man stnke jjjg Qf wages occurred in the environs of Chicago 
where the Pullman Palace Car Company had built a model 
village for its hands at Pullman. The wage reductions 
carried out by the Pullman Company were aggravated by 
the fact that the workmen lived in dwellings owned by the 
company, and dealt at company stores. A strike broke out 
in May for the restoration of the old wage scale. It was 
supported by the officers of the American Railway Union, 
which, under the leadership of Eugene V. Debs, was en- 
deavoring to organize all workmen on the railroads. When 
the Pullman Company refused to arbitrate the strike the 
union declared a boycott upon Pullman cars and ordered 
its members not to haul them over the lines of any railroad. 
In the last week of June, 1894, the boycott came into active 
operation with attendant disorder in the trainyards of 
Chicago. The companies appealed to the federal courts for 
an injunction forbidding the American Railway Union to 
interfere with the running of trains. Debs disregarded the 
order and was thrown into jail for contempt of court. The 
disorder in the yards continued, and a call was made for 
federal troops to maintain order, but Governor Altgeld, 
of Illinois, declined to issue the call for troops and insisted 
that he had the matter well in hand. 


When the disorder in the trainyards interfered with the 
regular running of the United States mails, President 
Cleveland intervened on his own account and ordered fed- 
eral troops from Fort Sheridan to Chicago to insure their 
unimpeded carriage. 

Out of the industrial disputes between 1892 and 1894 
there arose wide discussion of the defense of society against 
disorder. Government by injunction and the use Govern- 
of troops were both defended and denounced, mentby 
They were denounced by those who saw in them *°^"" 
a corrupt alliance against which Henry D. Lloyd launched 
his economic tract Wealth against Commonwealth (1894). 
The courts were denounced as reactionary and servile sup- 
porters of organized wealth. The use of the injunction and 
troops was defended by those who saw a primary issue in 
the maintenance of order and believed that without order 
as a condition precedent all society would suffer, the wage- 
earner most of all. 

The place of the court in the American system of govern- 
ment became more prominent as business became inter- 
state in its character and took on new forms of combination. 
In the legislative field Congress and the State legislatures 
were passing regulatory laws under strong public pressure. 
The old right of private property as protected by the com- 
mon law underwent modifications as the police power of the 
State was extended in new directions. It was no new thing 
for the courts to declare acts void as unconstitutional, but 
there had been no occasion for numerous decisions of this 
sort until the Government entered the broad field of regula- 
tion of business. Critics of the courts because they inter- 
vened in labor disputes found themselves joined by other 
critics who thought the courts perverse and reactionary and 
an obstruction to the social advance of government. 

The means of defense, whether internal or external, had 
changed little in the half-century ending in 1894. Local 
order was maintained by police forces that were, in nearly 
every important city, in corrupt alliance with the party 
machine. Individual m^nibers of the forces showed them- 


selves repeatedly capable of acts of heroism, but law-break- 
ing was countenanced, vice was protected, and bosses levied 
regular tribute upon the activities of the underworld. The 
Lexow Commission in New York stripped the concealment 
from the police system in that city and made possible in 
1894 one of the spasmodic revolts of decent society against 
corruption. Theodore Roosevelt became police commis- 
sioner there under the new Administration, and with Jacob 
Riis as his Boswell sought to remove the force from politics. 
The condition in the New York police department differed 
only in degree from that in other cities. In the rural dis- 
tricts there was no organized police at all and public order 
depended upon the law-abiding instincts of the community 
reenforced by an occasional sheriff's posse. 

Outside of half a dozen larger cities there existed no per- 
manent force capable of quelling serious outbreaks. When 
The militia trouble occurred the governor was called upon to 
and regular summon the militia to the scene of the disturb- 
ance, but the militia was commonly so unpre- 
pared and ill-disciplined that its presence before a mob made 
the situation worse. Only in the great industrial States in 
which the calls for strike service were relatively numerous 
was the militia well enough trained to be of use. Since 
strikes constituted almost the only occasion for its use, it 
easily became an object of the distrust of organized labor. 
In one of the strikes of 1893 the local controversy approached 
a condition of a petty civil war when a sheriff's posse in 
Colorado sought to quiet striking miners in Cripple Creek 
and Governor Waite called out the militia to arrest the 

The United States Army, as the last recourse for defense 
in an emergency, ranked high in public esteem. The regular 
soldiers were disciplined and self-restrained and aroused 
fewer antipathies than militiamen. The army was not 
materially changed from its condition when Hayes with- 
drew it from the Southern States. In 1894 it comprised 
2136 officers and 25,772 men, and the bureaus in the War 
Department which directed it had performed their customary 


regime with little change through two decades. The line of 
great commanders was running down. The title of General 
of the Army, conferred upon Grant and Sherman, lapsed 
with them, although it was temporarily revived for Grant's 
benefit shortly before his death. After Grant and Sher- 
man the command of the army passed into Sheridan's hands, 
and on his death in 1888 the list of great names ends. Scho- 
field, and then Miles, exercised command for the next 
fifteen years, but there were no more great heroes of the 
Civil War to lend the luster of their names to the office of 
commanding general. 


Benjamin Harrison, shortly after his retirement, published a popular 
description of the National Government in This Country of Ours (1897); 
Henry Demarest Lloyd, Wealth against Commonwealth (1894), is an attack 
upon business organization in general and the trusts in particular. James 
Howard Bridge, The Inside History of the Carnegie Steel Company (1903), is 
an interesting special study, as are Carroll D. Wright, "The Amalgamated 
Association of Iron and Steel Workers," in Quarterly Journal of Economics, 
vol. VII, and Andrew Carnegie, Autobiography (1920). T. S. Adams and 
H. L. Sumner, Labor Problems (1905), is a convenient summary. Brand 
Whitlock, Forty Years of It (1914), gives a sympathetic view of Governor 
Altgeld*s problems. Charles A. Beard, Contemporary American History 
(19 14), devotes much space to a discussion of the growing power of the 
courts. The basic figures for the silver controversy are in Secretary of 
the Treasury, Annual Report, 1893. 



In his second inaugural address Cleveland laid greatest 
stress upon two problems before his Administration; one, 
the immediate need, was the maintenance of a "sound and 
stable currency'*; the second, which was the main purpose 
of his campaign, was to correct "the injustice of maintain- 
ing protection for protection's sake." Before it was possi- 
ble to take up his major task, the emergency of the panic of 
1893 drove him to demand the repeal of the Silver Purchase 
Act. This was accomplished on November i , by which date 
the most acute period of the crisis was over. When Con- 
gress reassembled in December to consider the tariff bill, 
which William L. Wilson was ready to report, the organism 
of the party was so wrenched because of the silver contro- 
versy that it was in no condition to function smoothly upon 
tariff revision. 

At least four sets of obstructive facts stood before the 
President as he prepared to induce his party to redeem its 
Democratic p'^^ge to revise the tariff. The political conse- 
campaign quences of industrial unrest told against him. 

The direct effect of the repeal of the Sherman 
Act was to weaken the party unity from within. The 
growth of Populism operated from without the party to se- 
duce Democrats from their allegiance, and finally the panic 
itself was a weapon to be used with telling effect by the 
Republican Party now in opposition. 

Industrial unrest had contributed to Cleveland's election, 
but its continuance after his inauguration worked to his 
detriment. The mass of unemployed workmen tended to 
hold him responsible for their distress. The promptness 
with which the President intervened during the Pullman 
strikes brought down upon his head the wrath of labor 
radicals and of liberal Democrats. John P. Altgeld, of 


Illinois, gave voice to the protest against what he believed 
to be federal usurpation in State affairs. He had already 
drawn attention to his extreme liberalism by pardoning a 
group of the anarchists convicted after the Chicago riots 
of 1886. His protests revealed a lack of unity within the 
Democratic Party. The character of the unrest is illus- 
trated by the movement originated by Jacob S. Coxey, 
of Massillon, Ohio, who invited the unemployed to start 
with him on Easter Sunday, 1894, ^ march upon Washing- 
ton and to carry to Congress in person their demands for re- 
lief. Little detachments of "Coxey's army" started from 
numerous parts of the United States and ultimately arrived 
in Washington, where the Capitol police arrested them for 
walking on the grass around the Capitol. Their protest 
fizzled to the level of comic opera, but the grievance did not 
evaporate with the movement. 

The repeal of the Sherman Act snapped many of the 
party relationships that had been prepared with reference to 
tariff revision. Until 1893 the party had tried to 
avoid bringing the silver issue into politics, and the repeal 
had formulated ambiguous and inconsistent oftheSher- 

** , man Act 

platform planks upon the subject. The desire 
for free silver, however, was nearly unanimous among 
Southern and Western Democrats, many of whom lost their 
confidence in Cleveland when they thought of him as the 
agent of Wall Street and in league with the "gold-bugs." 
The appeal of Populism was strengthened by the success 
of the People's Party in the election of 1892. This was 
most marked among the Western States, where successes 
fusion tickets were placed in the field and elected ^ the 
by a Populist-Democratic combination. The ^^" *^ ^ 
program of Populism embraced a long list of genuine reforms, 
overshadowed by the demand for silver inflation. It was 
cardinal doctrine with the Populists that both great parties 
were derelict in their duties and sold out the interests of the 
common people. Professional politicians were under the 
ban, as having been guilty of deception and betrayal. The 
Populists who were nominated for office were, as a conse- 


quence, inexperienced men. Their honesty and devotion to 
reform were generally unquestioned, but their experience 
in the practical management of government was slight. 
They at least were a protest to double-dealing. '*It has 
become much the fashion to run candidates on two or more 
diverse platforms, so they can be for a gold standard in one 
locality, free coinage of silver in another, and something else 
elsewhere," wrote an Iowa Congressman upon the general 
situation. In their conduct in office the inexperience of 
Populist officials made them the butt of Eastern paragraph- 
ers. Waite, of Colorado, whose frequent use of militia 
and whose high-flown language opened him to attack, was 
perhaps most widely known. But PeflFer, of Kansas, and 
** Sockless " Jerry Simpson were burlesqued and ridiculed, 
while their sincere attempts to carry out the Populist re- 
forms were sneered at and opposed. Said the New York 
Nation, which was never able to appreciate either their 
provocation or their aims, "the whole course of Populist 
reasoning and action in Kansas has betokened rascality 
rather than ignorance." 

The panic that Harrison evaded with dexterity and 
passed on to Cleveland was chiefly due to a long train of 
events for which neither party as such was responsible. It 
was used, however, as a reason for attacking the Democratic 
Party, which was in office when it broke. In later years, 
as Republican stump speakers became more hazy in their 
recollection of the sequence of events, it was habitually 
charged that the panic of 1893 was due to the Democratic 
tariff of 1894. Burrows, of Michigan, expressed the same 
idea before that tariff was passed : ** I confidently assert that 
if the election of 1892 had resulted in the retention of the 
Republican Party in power, accompanied as it would have 
been with the assurance of the continuance of the American 
policy of Protection, the effect upon the public revenues as 
well as the general prosperity of the country would have 
been entirely reversed." 

The natural consequence of the panic made tariff revision 
difficult if not impossible. The national surplus disappeared, 


declining from $57,000,000 in 1890 to $37,000,000 in 1891, 
$9,000,000 in 1892, and $2,000,000 in 1893. In jhe state 
the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, there was of the 


a deficit of $69,000,000. The causes which drove 
the Treasury into deficit finance were contributed to by the 
heavy appropriations of Reed's billion-dollar Congress, by 
the elimination of the sugar duties from the McKinley Bill, 
and by the normal cessation of Imports that accompanies 
every panic. The customs duties under the McKinley tariff 
were $219,000,000 in 1891, $177,000,000 in 1892, $203,000- 
000 in 1893, and $131,000,000 in 1894, 

By the end of 1893 it was a problem for Secretary Car- 
lisle to find funds for the running expenses of the Govern- 
ment. It was a task of different character to keep enough 
gold in the Treasury to make possible the exchange of gold 
for other forms of money at the option of the customer. In 
January, 1894, he reverted to the Resumption Act of 1875 
and took advantage of its unrepealed provisions for borrow- 
ing gold in order to create a gold reserve. Under this law 
John Sherman financed resumption in 1879. Carlisle now 
invited bids for a bond issue of $50,000,000, whose proceeds 
were to strengthen the gold reserve. In subsequent issues 
of $50,000,000 borrowed and $62,000,000 paid out directly 
in the purchase of gold, the indebtedness created to main- 
tain the reserve was increased to $162,000,000. The task 
was vexatious and burdensome. The Silver Purchase Act 
had been repealed and had accordingly ceased to encourage 
the withdrawal of gold from the Treasury. But the Civil 
War greenbacks were still in circulation and by law were re- 
issued when received by the Treasury. Instead of being 
redeemed once in gold, they were reissued and were re- 
peatedly turned in for redemption ; and as long as lack of 
confidence prevailed they were a continuous drain upon the 
reserve. The bond issues were only a palliative. Relief 
came of itself as times gradually became more prosperous. 

The Democratic borrowing to maintain the gold reserve 
was attacked by Populists and silver Democrats as sub- 
servience to Wall Street. J. Pierpont Morgan, who nego- 


tiated the loans, gained the complete confidence of President 
Cleveland in the transaction, but gained for himself the 
position of dominant exponent of the banking interests. 
Until his death in 1913 he remained the leader in American 
finance. Republicans refused to believe that the bond is- 
sues were for the sole purpose of sustaining the gold reserve, 
and attacked Cleveland for increasing the national debt in 
time of peace, and for demanding a reduction of the tariff 
when there was already a deficit in the Treasury. 

William L. Wilson opened the tariff debate in January, 
1894, and carried his measure through the House in the fol- 
The Wilson lowing month in the form of an honest reduction 
tariflfof of the tariff. In the Senate, where the party 

lines were closer, and where the Western Demo- 
crats already believed that Cleveland had become the tool 
of big business, there was open revolt against the bill. Re- 
publicans attacked it with ridicule as they had done in 1888, 
and charged an incapacity in Democrats to construct a tariff. 
**The framers of the Wilson Bill having classified hydraulic 
hose . . . among articles of wearing apparel," said one of the 
Republican Senators, "no doubt will remodel that extraor- 
dinary measure so as to include hydraulic rams and spin- 
ning-mules in the live-stock schedule." A group of Demo- 
cratic Senators openly allied themselves with the Republican 
minority to defeat the revision. Arthur Pue Gorman, of 
Maryland, and Calvin Brice, of Ohio, led in the breach and 
made it more glaring, because each of them had been chair- 
man of the Democratic National Committee. With South- 
ern and Western party leaders fighting him on the silver 
issue, and with Eastern leaders in rebellion over the tariff, 
Cleveland became a President without a party. The Wilson 
Bill emerged from the Senate as an ordinary log-rolling, tar- 
iff-tinkering measure, bearing no resemblance to the party 
pledge upon which Cleveland had been elected. In its later 
stages Cleveland intervened in the hope of checking the re- 
volt. In an open letter to Wilson he renewed the arguments 
of his tariff message of 1887 and described the pending 
measure as * * party perfidy and party dishonor. ' ' Cleveland 


refused to sign the Wilson Bill. He allowed it to become a 
law without his signature because of the financial condition 
of the Treasury and the lack of prospect of a better bill. 
His open indignation made his personal breach with the 
Democratic protectionists permanent. 

The greatest novelty included in the Wilson Bill was 
a provision for an income tax inserted in response to a 
demand of the Populists, and drafted in part by William 
J. Bryan, who was one of the junior members of the Com- 
mittee on Ways and Means. In the scheme of Populism an 
income tax was not only a means for raising a revenue, but it 
was also a device for correcting inequalities in the distribu- 
tion of wealth. By increasing the rate progressively upon 
large incomes wealth was to be made to carry a heavy share 
of national expense. The measure was fought in Congress 
and outside as class legislation. In spite of the fact that 
income taxes had been used throughout the Civil War, the 
constitutionality of this new measure was tested in the 
Supreme Court. The Constitution required that direct 
taxes be allotted among the States according to their popu- 
lation. In this income tax there was no such allotment and 
none could have been made, since the great incomes which 
were the objective of the measure were concentrated in a 
few large cities in the East. The Supreme Court in 1895 
overturned the income tax because of its unconstitutional- 
ity, and brought itself thereby within the range of Populist 
fire directed against the alleged conspiracy of business to 
control the government. 

In the fall elections of 1894 the Republican Party was 
returned to power in Congress with a huge maj(H*ity in the 
House and a plurality over the Democrats in the j^^ ^i^. 
Senate. The panic and the Wilson Bill were the tions of 
main objects of attack. The Republican leaders 
invaded Wilson's West Virginia district, where Stephen B^ 
Elkins directed the movement to defeat the nominal author 
of the bill. Ex- President Harrison took part in the attack, 
as did McKinley, who had himself been ousted from Con- 
gress after the passage of his tariff measure. Wilson was 


defeated for reflection and at the same time a reaction 
against Populism removed from office its most prominent 

In the latter half of Cleveland's Administration the con- 
duct of the Government was reduced to formal terms as 
The Vene- always when Congress and the President are at 
zuela dis- variance on politics. In December, 1895, there 
was temporarily revived a spirit of unity be- 
cause of a vigorous diplomatic attack made upon Great 
Britain in a minor South American case. The boundary 
between Venezuela and British Guiana had been a source of 
irritation for many years, and Venezuela had more than 
once invited the friendly offices of the United States to pro- 
tect her against the encroachment of her more powerful 
neighbor, Cleveland took up the discussion through 
Richard Olney, who had in 1895 become Secretary of State 
upon the death of Gresham, and urged upon England an 
arbitration which that country was unwilling to concede. 
In the course' of the correspondence Olney avowed a special 
American right and interest in the problems of the Western 
Hemisphere, basing his claim upon the Monroe Doctrine. 
The British Government repudiated the idea and an im- 
passe was reached in the autumn. On December .17, 1895, 
after Cleveland had sent a routine message at the opening 
of Congress a few days earlier, he startled the world with a 
special message on Venezuela in which he asked for authority 
to niake a study of the merits of the boundary controversy 
with a view to intervention to maintain that boundary 
which should be sustained by law and fact. He recognized 
that this might produce a conflict with England which he 
was ready if necessary to undertake. 

The sharp language of the Venezuela message bewildered 
both friends and critics of the President. Godkin, who had 
supported him in the Nation thus far, now turned against 
him. Republicans charged that it was only a partisan 
trick to strengthen his Administration; Populists believed 
that it was a part of the Wall Street conspiracy, and that 
the temporary panic which followed the news of the mes- 


sage was deliberately planned for the benefit of speculators. 
Cleveland himself appears to have believed that sharp lan- 
guage would produce not war, but compromise, and the 
ensuing facts sustained this belief. The American commis- 
sioners to study the Venezuela boundary were given every 
chance to examine the records of the British Foreign Office 
itself, as they studied their subject. In the following winter, 
partly as the result of the shock caused by a serious con- 
templation of a war between England and the United 
States, a general treaty of arbitration was signed by Olney 
and Lord Pauncefote. A few weeks later, in February, 
1897, England agreed with Venezuela to arbitrate the 
boundary dispute. The arbitration treaty with the United 
States aroused opposition in the Senate and was first 
amended to death and then defeated. But the cordial rela- 
tions between England and the United States were strength- 
ened rather than weakened by the episode. 

If it had been necessary for Cleveland to resort to force 
to defend his attitude upon Venezuela, he would have had 
as weapons an uncompleted system of coast defenses on the 
Atlantic planned by Secretary Endicott's board in 1886, a 
regular army of little over 25,000, a national guard of vary- 
ing degrees of unpreparedness, and one modern battleship. 
"The utterly defenseless condition of our seacoast ... is 
now well understood by every civilized nation in the world," 
wrote Secretary Endicott in 1886. The naval vessels were 
openly jqered at in the comic papers. ** A man who will go 
right out on the water in an American man-of-war does n't 
know what fear is," said Leslie's in 1882, when the first 
steps were being taken to rebuild the navy. 

The American navy at the close of the Civil War had no 
superior, but its units deteriorated in the years that fol- 
lowed, and popular indifference prevented the xhenew 
addition of new ships. While the rest of the American 
world was experimenting with armored cruisers ^ 
and heavy guns in the seventies, the United States was 
content to rely upon the obsolete vessels that had been 
modem in 1865. In 1882 there was no American warship 


fit to go to war. In this year, however, Congress author- 
ized the preparation of plans for a group of steel cruisers 
and in subsequent acts the birth of a new navy was author- 
ized. A new American industry had to be created before 
the navy could appear. The ideas of protection, that were 
crying more insistently for economic independence of 
Europe, forbade the purchase of a navy abroad. It ac- 
cordingly became necessary to provide armor-plate mills 
and gun foundries as well as to design the steel hulls that 
were to bear the ordnance. Three little unprotected 
cruisers, the AtlanUiy Chicago ^ Charleston^ and a lighter 
craft, the Dolphin, "constituted the first attempt of the 
Navy Department for many years to construct a war ves- 
sel up to the modern requirements." The earliest of the 
cruisers was commissioned in 1887. In the autumn of this 
year the Atlanta and the Dolphin engaged in what were 
called maneuvers in an attack at Newport, where a Naval 
War College had been brought into existence in 1885. 

From its first units of unprotected light cruisers the naval 
program developed into armored cruisers, and then to 
battleships, whose plate and guns were manufactured in 
the United States. The Indiana was the earliest of the new 
craft to be commissioned, coming into active service in 
November, 1895. The Massachusetts, Oregon, and Iowa 
were under construction in the yards, but would have been 
unavailable had war occurred with England in 1895. 

A part of the scheme for modernizing the navy ijicluded a 
Naval War College for the post-graduate instruction of naval 
officers. Stephen B. Luce was detailed to command the new 
enterprise, which opened its first session in 1885. The great- 
est service of Luce, who organized the college, was to sum- 
mon thither Alfred Thayer Mahan, who at the age of forty- 
five **was drifting on the lines of simple respectability as 
aimlessly as any one very well could." Mahan took his 
duties seriously, began to lecture on naval history in the fall 
of 1886, and a few years later produced, in The Influence of 
Sea-Power upon History (1890), the most important contribu- 
tion of his generation to the philosophy of national strength. 


The Tennessee is very much larger than the AllanU, measuring 600 leel on the water-line 
while the knglh of the Atlanta was 176 [«el. She is ihown ttern on, heading away tcom lh< 



A good general view of the period may be constructed from James Ford 
Rhodes, History of the United States, vol. viif ; D. R. Dewey, National 
Problems (1907); and Paul L. Haworth, The United States in Our Own 
Times (1920). Grover Cleveland, Presidential Problems (1904), discusses 
and defends the bond issues. A. D. Noyes, Thirty Years of American 
Finance (1898), is by a veteran financial writer. J. M. Gould and G. F. 
Tucker, The Federal Income Tax Explained (1895), lost its timeliness when 
the tax was declared unconstitutional. William F. Draper, Recollections 
of a Varied Career (1908), gives a manufacturer's view of the nineties. 
A. T. Mahan, From Sail to Steam (1907), is the autobiography of the 
leading naval historian. G. W. Steevens, The Land of the Dollar (1897), is 
a crisp, journalistic record of an American tour. 


THE FIRST Mckinley campaign, 1896 

The "stirring events in our foreign relations" that occurred 
during the administration of Cleveland involved the Presi- 
dent in much controversy and reenforced the efforts to 
place the navy upon a modern basis, but had no "influence 
in shaping the canvass of 1896, or in determining its re- 
sult." Before the Congress chosen in November, 1894, 
took its seat, Cleveland had lost the hold over his party 
to which his reelection was due and had become an execu- 
tive unable to direct the course of current affairs. The 
opposition party was intent upon assembling the parti- 
san materials to be used in regaining national control; 
the Democracy was hopelessly split and without a leader; 
and along the western horizon the gathering power of the 
People's Party threatened to retire one of the two major 
parties into obscurity. 

Protection was the bond that held the Republican Party 
organization together after 1887. Until the date of Cleve- 
land's memorable tariff message it was a gen- 
andthe eral custom to apologize for the tariff as it had 

S^ndard ^^ accident become. From that date the party 

tactics changed, and the intent was openly 
avowed to make protection more systematic and complete 
than it had ever been. The defeat of Cleveland in 1888 
made it possible for this purpose to be executed in the 
McKinley Bill of 1890; the defeat of Republican candidates 
in the ensuing elections raised a doubt as to the degree in 
which the people approved the policy, but only strength- 
ened the determination of the Republican organization to 
perfect its own articulation upon this issue. For the first 
time since plantation economics controlled the policy of the 
Democratic Party in the middle of the century, a situation 
had arisen in which the success of one party appeared to be 

THE FIRST Mckinley campaign, 1896 215 

synonymous with the busmess success of a group of power- 
ful interests. The protected manufacturer connected his 
prosperity with the tariff schedules. His financial interest in 
the result of elections and the tariff* alterations that might 
follow them developed an extensive source of campaign con- 
tributions to the Republican treasury. The efforts of John 
Wanamaker in raising funds from Eastern manufacturers 
who feared the success of Cleveland in 1888 had been ante- 
dated several years by those of Marcus A. Hanna, of Cleve- 
land, who was raising funds earlier in the decade on the 
theory that the manufacturer had an insurable interest in 
Republican success. 

The set-back of 1890 and the further rebuff of 1892 post- 
poned, but did not weaken, the Republican hopes for a con- 
tinuance of the McKinley idea. In defense of protection 
the arguments became standardized before 1895. Clay's 
defense of an American system was accepted in toto. The 
protectionist regarded it as discreditable that the United 
States should import any commodity susceptible of pro- 
duction in America. Time had added to the arguments 
of Clay a second principle, that the American standard of 
life must not be endangered by the competition of foreign 
countries with a lower scale of welfare. As the arguments 
were used upon the stump, the protection of the American 
workman against the "pauper labor" of Europe was made 
the dominant motive for the policy. Free trade was de- 
scribed as a British trick to secure foreign markets for 
British manufactures, and the Democratic policy of tariff 
reform was attacked as unpatriotic and un-American. 
The Cobden Club, a British free-trade organization, was 
named repeatedly in the tariff debates from 1884 to 1892, 
always with the charge that it was the agency whereby 
British gold aided the proposals of the Democratic Party. 
The unfortunate letter of Sackville-West to Murchison in 
1888 was all that most Republicans needed to prove this 

The McKinley Bill precipitated disaster upon the Re- 
publican Party, but produced a martyr for its rehabilita- 


tion. William McKinley, author of the bill, and the most 
McKiniey adequate of Republican legislators on protection, 
and was defeated for reelection in 1890. To the 

^^ '°** country at large it appeared that he had been 
marked for slaughter because of his tariff leadership as 
William L. Wilson was actually destroyed in 1894. The 
fact was that McKinley had been selected for defeat long 
before his measure became a law. The close balance of 
Ohio politics produced in the eighties an alternation of 
Democratic and Republican control, with the result that 
four successive apportionment acts were passed under the 
census of 1880. In each of these the party in control of 
the legislature sought to gerrymander the Congressional 
districts so as to gain more Congressmen than the propor- 
tional vote of the party would warrant. In such an act 
passed by a Democratic legislature McKinley 's home 
county, in which a Republican majority was assured, was 
attached to a group of adjacent Democratic counties whose 
aggregate Democratic pluralities were known to be great 
enough to procure a Democratic majority for the new 
district. McKinley was gerrymandered out of his seat, 
but was a good enough martyr for party purposes. He was 
elected governor of Ohio the following year and reelected 
two years later. When the panic of 1893 brought distress 
to all the country, it was ascribed to the rejection of the 
policies to which his name was attached, and his friends 
urged him for the presidency as **the advance agent of 

Marcus A. Hanna was the chief promoter of McKinley's 
political fortunes. Drawn to him by the unusual affection 
Hanna and ^^^^ McKinley inspired among his associates, 
the Ohio Hanna devoted his time, his money, and his 

political shrewdness to the advancement of his 
friend's cause. The other Ohio statesmen who had am- 
bitions for the presidency, Joseph B. Foraker and John 
Sherman, wer6 forced aside, while McKinley was groomed 
for the campaign of 1896 as the martyr of the McKinley 
Bill and the spokesman of protection. 

THE FIRST Mckinley campaign, 1896 217 

The devices by which Hanna gained popular favor for 
McKinley appear to have been those of the successful pol- 
itician of the school of Dorsey, Quay, and Piatt. In those 
aspects of the campaign in which personal influence could 
be effective, McKinley's charm of manner could be trusted 
to produce results. The accumulation of potential dele- 
gates to the Republican Corivention of 1896 was begun long 
before the State conventions were named to choose them. 
Since there was no Republican President in office, the 
Southern delegates were procurable for any candidate 
who might be able to reach them. In successive winters 
Hanna established his home in the South, where Governor 
McKinley was repeatedly his guest, while Southern poli- 
ticians were exposed to his influence. Before the Republi- 
can Convention was assembled at St. Louis on June 16, 
1896, McKinley's nomination was assured; and it was con- 
firmed by that body upon its first ballot. 

Thomas B. Reed ran second to McKinley in the conven- 
tion. His supporters, who were more numerous than the 
delegates voting for him would indicate, included Repub- 
licans who distrusted the methods of the party organization 
as well as those who disliked the identification of the party 
with protection. The other minor candidates. Quay, Whar- 
ton, and Allison, were favorite sons whose support would 
probably not have lasted long after the first ballot. Garrett 
A. Hobart, of New Jersey, was selected as Vice-President. 

The nomination of McKinley was a foregone conclusion, 
but as the date for the Republican Convention approached, 
popular interest weakened in the protective tariff McKinley 
and became absorbed in the newer issue of free ^^ Hobart 
silver. Upon this latter theme the party had never taken a 
specific stand. Its platforms had been uncertain or evasive, 
and had been written to make it possible for the party to 
retain the support of both free-silver men and their oppo- 
nents. The attitude of the Republican Party on the silver 
question, now that one could not longer be avoided, was 
determined by two sets of factors, the probable conduct of 
the Democrats and the opinions of individual Republicans. 


Most of the delegates to the Democratic Convention had 

been selected before the Republicans met, with instructions 

to support the resumption of the free coinage of 

p!ank?tn silver at the ratio of sixteen to one. It was cer- 

oUt^rmi ^^^ ^^^^ Democracy would take this attitude in 

spite of disapproval of President Cleveland and 
his Cabinet. With a Democratic platform outspoken for 
free silver, it would be impracticable for Republicans to 
evade the issue any longer, while within the Republican 
Party were a large majority of those voters to whom free 
silver appeared to be malignant repudiation and dis- 
honesty. The strength of free silver was in the South and 
West, where the converts to Populism were the most 
numerous. In the North and East, where capital was more 
abundant, and where its possessors were already likely to 
be Republican, lay the opposition to it. Easterners laid 
aside their discussions of the tariff for the time being in 
order to meet the more alarming crisis. The opposition to 
free silver insisted that the Republican Party take as ex- 
plicit an attitude as the Democrats were about to take, 
and upon the other side. 

The Republican coinage plank began with a generality 
for sound money and claimed credit because that party 
procured **the enactment of a law providing for the re- 
sumption of specie payments in 1879; since then every 
dollar has been as good as gold. We are unalterably op- 
posed to every measure calculated to debase our currency 
or impair the credit of our country. We are, therefore, 
opposed to the free coinage of silver, except by international 
agreement . . • and until such agreement can be obtained, 
the existing gold standard must be preserved. All our 
silver and paper currency must be maintained at parity 
with gold, and we favor all measures designed to maintain 
inviolably the obligations of the United States and ajl our 
money, whether coin or paper, at the present standard, the 
standard of the most enlightened nations of the earth." 
The crisis that thus made silver a party issue weakened the 
availability of McKinley as a candidate, since he had never 

THE FIRST Mckinley campaign, 1896 219 

been especially identified with the currency question and 
had incidentally made speeches that could be used against 
him by the advocates of free silver. As the crisis loomed he 
maintained a discreet and unbroken silence until his pro- 
tectionist friends had procured his nomination. As a can- 
didate he gave support tq the gold standard. 

The adoption of the Republican gold plank brought 
about an open breach in the convention. Thirty-four 
delegates followed Senator Henry M. Teller, of Colorado, 
in a formal protest and left the convention in a body. 
In the Western States, to which most of the bolting dele- 
gates belonged, it appeared that the Republican Party had 
sold its soul to selfish interests. The belief there was pro- 
found that silver had been demonetized by a conspiracy of 
money-lenders, and that the restoration of free coinage was 
necessary to undo a crime against humanity. 

The Republican split over free silver intensified the 
certainty that the Democratic Party would support it. In 
the organization of the convention meeting July 7 in 
Chicago, the free-silver forces repudiated the attempts of 
the National Committee to steer them away from the 
chosen issue, and increased their voting strength by un- 
seating a gold-standard delegation from Nebraska in favor 
of its free-silver contestants. By a vote of 628 to 301, the 
party demanded "the free and unlimited coinage of both 
silver and gold at the present legal ratio of 16 to i without 
waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation. We 
demand that the standard silver dollar shall be of full legal 
tender, equally with gold, for all debts, public and private, 
and we favor such legislation as will prevent in the future 
the demonetization of any kind of legal-tender money by 
private contract. . . . We declare that the act of 1873 de- 
monetizing silver without the knowledge or approval of the 
American people has resulted in the appreciation of gold 
and a corresponding fall in the prices of commodities pro- 
duced by the people; a heavy increase in the burden of 
taxation and of all debts, public and private; the enrich- 
ment of the money-lending class at home and abroad ; the 


prostration of industry and impoverishment of the people." 
Fifteen candidates received votes on the first ballot for 
the nomination, while 178 delegates who disapproved the 
William platform refused to vote at all. Of the leading 
J. Bryan candidates, two possessed the prominence that 
belonged to men who had been Democratic governors of 
Republican States, Robert E. Pattison, of Pennsylvania, 
and Horace Boies, of Iowa. A third, who was a leader on 
the first ballot, was Richard P. Bland, of Missouri, who had 
been sponsor of free silver for nearly twenty years. A 
fourth was the leader of the victorious Nebraska free-silver 
delegation, William J. Bryan. In his four years in Con- 
gress, 1891-95, Bryan had become known as an effective 
and persuasive speaker. He had early supported free silver 
as a measure of social reform, and after the expiration of 
his term in Congress he had led in the organized movement 
to convert his party to free silver. He had supported the 
program of the People's Party without admitting that he 
ceased to be a Democrat. When his delegation was finally 
seated in the Chicago Convention, it fell to him to close the 
debate upon a plank offered by a minority of the Committee 
on Resolutions that repudiated free silver and commended 
"the honesty, the economy, courage, and fidelity of the 
present Democratic Administration." This was on the 
third day of the convention with the delegates hot and 
weary, with the old party leaders hopelessly outvoted, and 
the headless minority bewildered by the possession of 
power without leadership. "An opportunity to close such 
a debate had never come to me before,*' wrote Bryan when 
he described the contest, "and I doubt if as good an oppor- 
tunity had ever come to any other person during this gen- 
eration." The voice of the young orator, for he was only 
thirty-six years of age, penetrated every comer of the con- 
vention hall, while his stage presence captured the attention 
of the weary delegations and held it throughout his repeti- 
tion of the substance of a glowing speech that he had for 
years been making on the stump. It was new to the dele- 
gates and was as new to national politics as were Bryan's 

THE FIRST Mckinley campaign, 1896 221 

name and face. It ended with a peroration now famous in 
campaign oratory: "If they dare to come out in the open 
field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we will 
fight them to the uttermost. Having behind us the pro- 
ducing masses of this nation and the world, supported by 
the commercial interests, the laboring interests, and the 
toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold 
standard by saying to them : You shall not press down upon 
the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify 
mankind upon a cross of gold." On the fourth ballot 
Bryan took the lead; on the fifth he was within twelve 
votes of the requisite two thirds to nominate him ; and these 
were secured by transfer without another roll-call. Arthur 
Sewall, of Maine, was nominated as his companion on the 

The hopes of Populism to become a new great party v/ere 
destroyed by the action of the major parties in accepting 
the silver issue. On July 22 two conventions _ ,. 

, "^ Populism 

met at St. Louis, one calling itself a National 
Silver Party, and the other the People's Party. There was 
no need for the former body to do anything but concur in the 
Democratic stand, and to endorse its nominations. The 
Populists, however, were faced with problems affecting the 
future of the party. " If we fuse, we are sunk," wrote one 
of the Populist leaders, who added, "If we don't fuse, all 
the silver men will leave us for the more powerful Demo- 
crats." For the real leaders of the party, who sought an 
extensive program of reform, this was a tragedy. The 
majority of the convention, drawing their inspiration from 
the single measure of free silver, voted for fusion with the 
Democrats and concurrence in their nomination. A middle- 
of-the-road movement of genuine Populists opposed fusion 
of any sort in the hope of maintaining party existence. 
The platform, repeating and elaborating that of 1892, was 
carried first. The Vice-President was nominated next, 
for even the fusion Populists opposed Sewall, who was 
a wealthy Maine shipbuilder. Thomas E. Watson, of 
Georgia, was chosen for this post after the first ballot, and 


subsequently Bryan was nominated for the presidency over 
four minor candidates, Norton, Debs, Donnelly, and Coxey. 
The campaign of 1896 was fought upon the clear issue of 
the gold standard as against free silver with the forces of 
The Gold class and section arrayed against each other as 
Democrats jjj j^q other canvass except i860. Party lines 

were abandoned. Even the Prohibitionists split and 
placed gold and silver tickets in the field. The bolt of the 
mining delegates from the Republican Party was followed 
by that of the advocates of gold from the Democratic 
Party. On September 2 there convened at Indianapolis 
a hastily assembled convention of Democrats who would 
neither support a Republican' candidate nor accept the 
regular Democratic ticket. "The declarations of the 
Chicago convention," it declared, "attack individual free- 
dom, the right of private contract, the independence of the 
judiciary, and the authority of the President to enforce 
Federal laws. They advocate a reckless attempt to in- 
crease the price of silver by legislation, to the debasement 
of our monetary standard, and threaten unlimited issues 
of paper money by the Government. They abandon for 
Republican allies the Democratic cause of tariff reform, to 
court the favor of protectionists to their fiscal heresy/' 
The Gold Democratic Convention endorsed the "Fidelity, 
patriotism, and courage'* of Cleveland, and nonunated a 
ticket consisting of John M. Palmer, of Illinois, and Simon 
B. Buckner, of Kentucky. Cleveland and members of his 
Cabinet supported this ticket. 

The fight of classes in the campaign was intensified by 
education and the use of funds. The decision about free 
Election silver tumed in the last analysis upon an eco- 
of McKin- nomic argument, the technicalities of which 


were too stubborn to be removed by ordinary 
platform oratory. The class appeal in favor of free silver 
was met by class appeal against it. Both party organi- 
zations sought to secure the deciding votes from the mi- 
nority susceptible of being reached by better arguments. 
Hanna was made chairman of the Republican National 

THE FIRST Mckinley campaign, 1896 223 

Committee and utilized the large funds made available by 
his old allies, the manufacturers, and by new allies in the 
form of banks and insurance companies who feared re- 
pudiation. Campaign speakers were for the first time 
deliberately trained to carry an argument to the people and 
to gain a victory based upon conviction. Bryan was him- 
self the most persuasive speaker for his party and spread 
panic in Republican centers, which he invaded on his 
speaking tour. ** Probably no man in civil life has succeeded 
in inspiring so much terror, without taking life,*' said the 
Nation, when the vote was in. McKinley, on the contrary, 
remained quietly at his Canton home, receiving visiting 
delegations from week to week, while his managers bore the 
gospel of sound money to the people. He was elected by 
an absolute majority of the vote cast, and with an electoral 
vote of 271 to 176. 


James Ford Rhodes, History of the United States^ vol. vni (1919), comes 
to an end with this election, and there is no compendious history that con- 
tinues his story. Biographical materials on the campaign can be found in 
William J. Bryan, The First Battle (1896) ; William V. Byers, An American 
Commoner, The Life and Times of Richard Parks Bland (1900); Tom L. 
Johnson, My Story (1913); Herbert Croly, Marcus Alonzo Hanna (1912); 
Charles S. Olcott, Life of William McKinley (1916); David Magie, Life of 
Garrett A. Hobart (19 10); William Dana Orcutt, Burrows of Michigan arid 
the Republicarl Party (1917) ; and L. J. Lang (ed.) Autobiography of Thomas 
Collier PlaU (1910). 


THE "G.O.P." 

The Republican Party that was returned to power on 
March 4, 1897, possessed a definiteness of purpose and a 
Property closely knit organization that make it stand out 
and politics among national parties in their periods of as- 
cendancy. Its record in the Civil War, still an asset in any 
campaign, entitled its spokesmen to refer to it in glowing 
terms as the ** Grand Old Party.** The initial letters of 
the nickname, '*G.O.P.,** now possessed a connotation that 
had reference to the present in addition to the past. The 
purpose of the party organization was to advance the inter- 
ests of its members and thereby the interests of the nation. 
Under the impact of two great issues in a single decade, 
one aspect of those interests had been forged into a keen 
and weighted determination. The demands for tariff re- 
form and free silver had driven into the Republican organi- 
zation nearly all citizens who were in a position to suffer 
from European competition or domestic inflation. The 
holders of property as a body were Republican, and it is 
impossible to disentangle the complex of motives, selfish 
and patriotic, that held them there. The best judgment 
of history and economics has approved the fight for the 
maintenance of the gold standard. It has been less cer- 
tain upon the elemental merits of the tariff. But what- 
ever the motives in individual cases, the result of the long 
fight over these two issues was to bring to power in the 
G.O.P. strong-willed men of financial power and political 
resource who felt themselves vindicated and approved by 
the defeat of Bryan. 

The bitterness of the campaign disappeared so rapidly as 
to arouse suspicion that it was only stage play. Explana- 
tions for the subsidence of passion are to be found in the 
assurance that the currency would not be depreciated, and 

THE G.O.P. * 225 

in the vision of prosperity that turned much of the bitter- 
ness of the discontented classes into hope. McKinley had 
been advertised by his friends as the "advance agent of 
prosperity." The prosperity which he heralded was visible 
even before he was elected, in bumper crops and rising 
prices for them. Populism was never a real party, but 
was rather a temporary accumulation of the discontented 
whose strongest bond of union disappeared as individual 
Populists became solvent members of society. The general 
recovery from the panic of 1893 began to be visible in the 
summer of 1896 and increasingly thereafter weakened the 
forces of discontent and enabled Republican leaders to 
take pride in their success in dispelling hard times. 

The cycle of falling prices that began in 1865 reached the 
dip of its curve about 1895 and started to ascend once more. 
In so far as the low prices were due to the scar- prosperity 
city of money and its appreciation in value, there and rising 
was a tendency to correct this in the train of ^^^^ 
events which began in the summer of 1896 when a group of 
prospectors found placer gold along the tributaries of the 
Yukon River near the boundary that separates Canada 
from Alaska. The Klondike gold fields became known to 
the world in time for a rush of miners to hurry there in 
1897. Out of the Klondike in the next two decades came 
a flood of gold that was reenforced by other streams from 
South Africa, Australia, the United States, and elsewhere. 
The annual gold production of the world averaged $132,- 
000,000 for the fifteen years before 1896 and rose to 
$337,000,000 for the fifteen years that followed. The in- 
crease in gold lowered its value and operated both to in- 
crease the amount of money in existence and to depreciate 
the dollar. Prices started upward about 1896, and as they 
rose, bringing visible inflation with them, they further weak- 
ened the power of the party movement for cheap money. 

The Cabinet of William McKinley was built around the 
ideas of party regularity and financial solidity. McKinley's 
McKinley himself had been an unwelcome candi- Ca^»ne<^ 
date in the eyes of many supporters of the gold standard 


because of his late conversion to that doctrine. Hobart, 
his Vice-President, was too sound on this to admit of any 
doubt. The earliest offer of a Cabinet post was tendered 
to Marcus A. Hanna, whom McKinley's biographer de- 
scribes as a magnificent ''political general — square, effi- 
cient, and resourceful." The invitation was rejected, for 
Hanna preferred a freer position for himself. Thus far he 
had been content to exert political influence from outside 
the lines of office. He now desired to become Senator from 
Ohio, and when John Sherman was made Secretary of 
State, that desire became practicable. Hanna was ap- 
pointed to the Senate by Governor Bushnell, of Ohio, in 
the vacancy created by Sherman's resignation. Sherman 
as Secretary of State gave to the new Administration the 
prestige of one who had been the wisest financial statesman 
in the party. 

The career of John Sherman was nearly at an end when 
he entered upon this final chapter. For a long generation 
he had been a figure in national affairs, and for two decades 
a reasonable aspirant for the presidency. Under his hand 
the resumption bill had been framed and resumption itself 
administered. There were rumors now that his health was 
gone and' that mental decay had set in. These rumors 
were so strong that McKinley felt forced to deny their truth 
as late as February, 1897. He persisted, nevertheless, in 
appointing Sherman, whose actual mental condition soon 
confirmed the rumors. William R. Day, of Canton, an old 
personal friend of the President, was made Assistant Secre- 
tary of State to carry the bulk of Sherman's burdens and 
later to succeed him. 

The connecting link between the new Republican Party 
and the old was John Hay, who began life as Lincoln's 
private secretary and who now was sent as Ambassador to 
London, where he relieved Thomas F. Bayard, of Dela- 
ware. Due to the efforts of Hay, more than to those of any 
other individual, the party and the nation possessed the 
great heritage of Abraham Lincoln. The first Republican 
President had died in 1865, with the terms of peace unset- 

THE G.O.P. 227 

tied and with his own party in revolt s^ainst him. The 
monumental biography that Nicolay and Hay produced, 
and that ran serially in the Century through four years in 
the middle eighties, revealed the character and idealism of 
Lincoln and brought him into the little inner group of great 
Americans. Hay, whose acquaintance in America and 
abroad had few equals, had been in England shortly before 
his appointment as Ambassador, and had there taken oc- 
casion to give friendly, informal advice to the British Gov- 
ernment to adjust its differences with Cleveland over Ven- 
ezuela and not to expect that McKinley would weaken 
from the position of his predecessor. 

For Secretary of the Treasury McKinley chose Ljonan P. 
Gage, of Chicago, a prominent banker who had led in the 
long agitation to defend the gold standard in the Middle 
West. It was impossible to hope for Congressional action 
in support of the gold standard at once. The Fifty-Fifth 
Congress, elected with McKinley, was a Republican body 
in both houses, but in the Senate that majority was avail- 
able only on measures not connected with the currency, for 
a group of silver Republican Senators held the balance of 
power. The appointment of Gage was accepted as a guar- 
antee of the determination of the Administration to sup- 
port the gold standard. During 1898 a monetary confer- 
ence was held at Indianapolis, where was begun a serious 
and protracted national study in the elements of a sound 

The rest of the Cabinet was composed of self-made and 
substantial men, chosen largely because of their importance 
to the party. By the accident of events public attention 
was later turned to Russell A. Alger, of Michigan, who be- 
came Secretary of War. Alger had emerged from the Civil 
War at the age of twenty-nine with the rank of major-gen- 
eral of volunteers. He had then become a manufacturer 
and had engaged in the profitable work of exploiting timber 
resources of northern Michigan. By 1888 he had been 
governor of Michigan and had become a prominent favorite 
son in the Republican Convention of that year. He was 


identified with big business, the protected industries and 
the trusts, and was a reasoneible appointee in the Repub- 
lican Party as it was organized in 1897. 

With the Senate majority still favoring free silver, it 
was impracticable to carry out at once the currency mandate 
of 1896, but the submerged purpose of the party to revise 
the Wilson Bill came to the surface immediately after elec- 
tion. A few gold-standard tariff reformers protested bit- 
terly that it was a betrayal of confidence to use the Re- 
publican majority for tariff purposes, but the official spokes- 
men of the party declared that the mandate of the election 
was for the tariff as well as gold. Before Cleveland left 
office, it was officially announced that among McKinley's 
earliest acts would be a call for a special session to revise 
the tariff. Congress assembled in accordance with this in- 
tent on March 15, 1897, and Reed, who was reelected as 
Speaker, refused to appoint any committees of the House 
except those connected with the legislative program. 

Nelson R. Dingley, of Maine, introduced the new tariff 
bill that passed the House after two weeks' perfunctory 
The Ding- debate. The draft had been framed and par- 
ley tariflF tially debated during the preceding session of 
Congress, and the preliminary touches had been given it in 
the recess between March 4 and March 15. Its pass^e 
was aided by the fact that there was still a deficit in the 
National Treasury. In 1894 the United States ran behind 
$69,000,000, and drew upon the surplus to that extent. The 
deficit of 1895 was $42,000,000; 1896, $25,000,000, and 
1897, $18,000,000. The need for extra revenue was such 
as to strengthen every appeal for higher rates. 

In the rewriting of the Dingley Bill that took place while 
it was pending in the Senate, the representatives of manu- 
facturing interests possessed the greatest influence. The 
general character of the measure had been determined upon 
in advance. Only the amount of protection to be extended 
remained in doubt, and this was settled upon the represen- 
tations of the industries affected. The chief of the Bureau 
of Statistics, Worthington C. Ford, asserted during the de- 

THE G.O.P. 229 

bates that the protective rates were being made so high as 
to be prohibitory, with the result that the bill would pro- 
duce insufficient revenue for the Government. He ob- 
served that the whole fiscal policy was changing from one 
of revenue with incidental protection to that of protection 
with incidental revenue. The bill became a law in July, 
1897, as the most thorough -going protective measure in 
American history. It was passed, complained Laughlin 
and Willis, *'with a striking disregard of all legislative pro- 
prieties and bolstered up by the feeling of security based 
on a knowledge that the conservative classes of the country 
had received a terrible fright." 

The Dingley tariff was the fruit of the complete identi- 
fication of the Republican Party with the interests of busi- 
ness. For nearly fifteen years the organization of the party 
remained firm -enough to withstand all attacks directed 
against it from without. The country continued prosperous 
and the party of prosperity held its power. The Demo- 
cratic opposition remained weak and disorganized as Cleve- 
land had left it. The absence of an effective opposition is 
responsible for many of the political phenomena between 
1897 and 191 1. 

Due to the double split produced by Cleveland and 
Bryan, permanent animosities were sown among the leaders 
of the party, and the disconnected factions lost their power 
to hold the Republican majority to a definite course. The 
effective influences tending to divert the Republican Party 
to a new program came from within and were increased by 
the feeling of security created by the Democratic collapse. 

The People's Party, with its broad program of reform, 
inspired interest far beyond its capacity to gain votes. Nei- 
ther of the larger parties was receptive to new ideas or wel- 
comed their exponents. Neither party, whether it talked 
of tariff or of currency, had a program that frankly faced 
the changes brought into society by the recent revolution 
in conununication and manufacture. The old doctrine of 
individual freedom had made it possible for a few individ- 
uals to exploit the natural resources of the country and to 


appropriate a disproportionate share of the freedom for 
themselves. Neither of the parties and few of the older poli- 
ticians had any vision of the changes that must be made to 
restore a reasonable degree of opportunity to the tenant 
farmer and the tenement workman. In the great cities, 
boss rule was still defiant, and much of the organic strength 
of both parties depended upon corrupt manipulation of 
votes and selfish use of the power derived from this manipu- 
lation. Quay, Piatt, and Hanna had succeeded to the 
leadership formerly exercised by Conkling, Cameron, and 
Blaine, but brought little change for the better in their 
understanding of the duties of the modem state. 

In the People's Party the protest against this indifference 
of the party organizations became a matter of religion. 
Republican Both parties, in its belief, were corrupt and un- 
counter- responsive. Measures that were designed to 

broaden the opportunities of life or to break the 
power of the bosses were accepted without criticism or ex- 
amination and incorporated in the miscellaneous catalogue 
of reforms that constituted the Populist platform. The 
interest in these reforms was widely spread among citizens 
of no political activity and gained earnest converts among 
young Republican politicians who found their aspirations 
checked by the compact machinery of the G.O.P. The 
stress of the currency campaign kept party regularity well 
to the fore until 1896, but thereafter signs are visible of a 
counter-reformation within the Republican Party working 
to detach it from its close alliance with business and to 
make it more truly a party of the people. 

The attack of the Populists upon the mechanics of the 
great parties resolved itself into the demand for specific 
The "in- reforms including the direct election of Senators 
tcrests" in and an increase in direct control over govem- 
^ * '^ ment by the people. The initiative and the 

referendum seemed adapted to correct the abuses due to 
improper control of the legislatures of the States. The con- 
trol of State legislation was an avowed policy of the rail- 
roads and the larger corporations, Mp^t ?onunonly it took 

THE G.O.P. 231 

the form of dissuading the legislatures from passing antag- 
onistic laws. The railroad managers who employed their 
lobbyists declared that this was necessary to prevent 
blackmail, and asserted that unscrupulous legislators intro- 
duced hostile legislation for the sole purpose of having it 
bought off. In spite of the fact that railroad commissions 
had been numerous for more than twenty years, little had 
been done to equalize rates or to impose a fair burden of 
taxation upon railroad property. The distrust of legis'i 
latures revealed itself in long and minute State constitu* 
tions. If the people could act directly, it was hoped that 
some of the abuses might be avoided. The advocates of 
initiative and referendum had this end in view. 

The direct primary was urged, as early as 1897, as an 
additional means of safeguarding the Government against 
bosses and corrupt interests. In that year Direct 
Robert M. La FoUette advanced a general pro- p"™^^ 
gram for direct nominations for office, including even the 
presidency. La FoUette had already served three terms in 
Congress where his ready mastery of figures made him one 
of the most serviceable of Republican members on the Com- 
mittee on Ways and Means. Defeated for reelection in 
1890, he suffered with the Republican Government of Wis- 
consin because of the attempt of that Government to com- 
pel a wider use of the English language in the schools. He 
soon came back into politics and was beaten for the nomina- 
tion as governor in 1896 by what he regarded as a corrupt 
manipulation of delegates against him. His reform of the 
convention system was based upon his own experience with 
it. And as he renewed his efforts for the nomination in 
1898 and 1900, keeping up continuously a hot fire upon the 
nomination system, he attracted to his reform other leaders 
who like him were disappointed because of their inability 
to beat the machine. 

The leaders of reform were Republican after 1896, as they 
had generally been Democratic or Populist in the years 
immediately preceding. With little encouragement from 
the G.O.P., they were heartened by an increasing interest 


among the people at large. By 1900, in which year La 
Submer- Follette succeeded in securing both nomination 
gence of and election as governor of his State, the leaders 
"^""^ of the counter-reformation began to make an 

impression upon the party by their local successes. They 
worked under the handicap of national prosperity, and 
struggled for the attention of a people who had forgotten 
the pangs of the panic of 1893 and had been distracted 
from affairs domestic by the glitter of unexpected and suc- 
cessful foreign war. 


John Sherman, Recollections of Forty Years (1895), was published before 
his collapse in McKinley's Cabinet. His official biography is Winfield S. 
Kerr, John Sherman, His Life and Public Services (1908) ; briefer and better 
is Theodore E. Burton, John Sherman (1906). William Roscoe Thayer, 
Life and Letters of John Hay (1915), is a notable contribution. Robert M. 
La Follette, Autobiography (1913), may be profitably read in connection 
with Isaac Stephenson, Recollections of a Long Life, i82Q-igiS (privately 
printed, 1915). Other useful books are J. L. Laughlin and H. P. Willis, 
Reciprocity (1903) ; G. H. Haynes, The Election of Senators (1906) ; Ellis P. 
Oberholtzer, Initiative, Referendum, and Recall in America (191 1); John 
Moody, The Truth about the Trusts (1904) ; and W. Z. Ripley, Trusts, Pools, 
and Corporations (1905). • 



The venerable John Sherman, of Ohio, chief of McKinley's 
Cabinet, had been selected as Secretary of State because 
his years of experience as a financial statesman had qualified 
him to undertake the difficult negotiation of an agreement 
for international bimetallism, to which the Republican 
Party had pledged itself in 1896. A secondary reason for 
his appointment lay in the fact that Marcus Alonzo Hanna, 
of Cleveland, chairman of the Republican National Com- 
mittee, and astute guardian of McKinley's aspirations, de- 
sired to enter the Senate. It was not certain in advance 
that Governor Horace Bushnell, of Ohio, would consent to 
gratify this aspiration, for the rifts among Ohio politicians 
ran deep into their political organizations, but the matter 
worked out as desired, and Hanna assumed the senatorship 
as Sherman undertook the tasks of foreign secretary. 

Among the minor pledges of the Republican Party in 
1896 was a plank pledging action toward the ending of a 
painful revolution then in progress on the Island Cuban pad- 
of Cuba. But few imagined that this revolu- ^<^^*o" 
tion contained the germs of war, nor could Sherman have 
been named as foreign secretary with Cuba as a major 
subject for prospective diplomacy. On the theme of Cuba, 
Sherman as a Senator had often expressed himself in lan- 
guage unmeasured and severe, upon evidence no weightier 
than that contained in the headlines of the daily yellow press. 

Coincident with the Cuban revolt a new journalism had 
developed on both sides of the Atlantic. Alfred Charles 
Harmsworth had taken over the Daily Mail in London, 
and William Randolph Hearst had acquired control of the 
New York Journal. With similar tactics both of these 
editors had developed a journalism of sentimentality and 
exaggeration, and the latter had seized upon the events of 


the Cuban insurrection with a purpose to manufacture from 
them a war with Spain. 

It was in February, 1895, that insurgents in the eastern 
end of Cuba revived the guerrilla warfare that had been 
Insurrec- suspended for seventeen years, since the close of 
tionofi895 ^j^g |.gj^ years' war. Spanish administration in 

Cuba had not improved in the intervening years. Havana, 
as the center of culture and capital of the island, had lorded 
it over the backwoods regions of the eastern provinces. 
Madrid had failed to take seriously the problem of colonial 
responsibility at a time when the rest of western Europe 
was awakening not only to a national appreciation of the 
value of colonies, but also to an acceptance of a duty in 
advance of exploitation. 

The insurgents of 1895, badly armed and poorly organ- 
ized, were unable to maintain in Cuba anything resembling 
a de facto government. Early in the outbreak their leader, 
Gomez, inaugurated a policy of devastation and directed 
the destruction of the sugar-cane and mills of the Span- 
ish loyalists. Upon this pretext a strong-armed military 
governor. General Valeriano Weyler, was sent out from 
Spain to conquer peace. At Weyler's command the re- 
bellious population, and even the suspected population of 
the infected districts, were swept away from their homes 
and concentrated in observation camps. Here in barbed- 
wire enclosures they were allowed to sicken, starve, and die 
uncared for. Across the whole width of the island toward 
its eastern end, he cleared a broad band from its jungle 
entanglements and built a wire fence or trocha which he 
patrolled constantly in the hope of confining the marauding 
patriot bands within their provinces north of Santi^o. The 
horrors incidental to this campaign of suppression were 
seized upon and exploited by the press. The excesses of 
the Cuban patriots were extenuated or ignored, while those 
of the Spanish army were displayed as evidence of inherent 
corruption, deception, and incapacity. 

The revolutionary government had no real existence on 
the island, but a handful of its leaders, safely living in New 


York, formed a Cuban junta that pretended to be a gov- 
ernment and borrowed money where it could. ^^^^ ^^^^ 
It bought arms and anununition in the United the insur- 
States, as it was entitled to do under the law of 
nations, and ran them into Cuban ports by stealth. The 
Spanish Government denied the existence of an actual war, 
maintained that she was dealing with only an aggravated 
riot; and hence was unable to suppress this munitions trade 
by the exercise of the belligerent rights of blockade, contra- 
band, and search. As a consequence her naval vessels, 
whatever their suspicions, could make no interference with 
the traffic outside of the Cuban three-mile limit. The re- 
membrance of the Virginitcs correspondence of 1873 sug- 
gested the unwisdom of attacks on vessels flying the Ameri- 
can flag. It was, however, entirely impossible to control 
the whole Cuban coast, and numerous cargoes of weapons 
reached their destination. The Spanish Government, suffer- 
ing from the traffic which it was too feeble to prevent, took 
the attitude that it was the business of the United States 
to stop it. Cleveland and Olney consistently repelled this 
claim, while at the same time warning American sympathiz- 
ers not to go beyond their lawful rights, and not to start 
within the limits of the United States those military ex- 
peditions against a friendly power that international law 

Within the United States public sjonpathy with Cuba 
permeated all parties, and repeated attempts were made in 
Congress to force upon the President a recognition of Cuban 
belligerency. To this suggested interference in the affairs 
of Spain, Cleveland interposed as stubborn a denial as he 
did to the Spanish demand that the United States police the 
Cuban waters for her benefit. 

President McKinley took over an exasperating problem, 
but one of second magnitude. The tasks of organizing a 
Cabinet and seeing the Dingley Bill through woodford 
Congress delayed the day when the Adminis- and 
tration could give serious attention to the pacifi- ^^ ^ 
cation of Cuba. In September General Stewart L. Wood- 


ford arrived in Madrid to succeed Hannis Taylor as Minis- 
ter to Spain, and let it be known among his diplomatic 
colleagues there **that before Congress should meet in De- 
cember, some means must be found whereby this struggle 
may be put in the sure way of being peacefully and finally 
ended." The friendly offices for mediation which he offered 
were repelled by the Spanish Government with the comment 
that it was the duty of the United States to stop the trade in 
arms; and the declaration that if this were done, peace 
would follow of itself. The Conservative Government which 
Woodford found in power in Madrid was overturned in 
October and was replaced by the Ministry of Shasta. A 
little later in the autumn, Weyler was recalled from Cuba 
and a more moderate governor was sent out in his place. 
On November 25, 1897, the Queen- Regent extended the 
Spanish Constitution to Cuba, and established a system 
of autonomy therein. But it seemed clear to General 
Woodford that no Spaniard knew what the word "auton- 
omy" implied, and on the island it was acceptable to 
neither faction. The insurgents in Cuba hooted the idea 
of less than independence, and were distressed that the 
friendly United States should have seemed to ask it. The 
Spanish loyalists resented the concession, and were angry 
at the United States for seeming to have forced it. 

In the winter of 1897-98, the first steps were taken to 
establish autonomy in practice, with such disturbing con- 
sequences that General Fitzhugh Lee, the American con- 
sul-general in Havana, expressed a desire for the moral 
security that would come from the presence of an American 
warship in the harbor. Toward the middle of January 
mobs in Havana, rioting against autonomy, were uncertain 
whether their defiance should be directed against the Span- 
ish Government or the American consul-general, and on 
February 15 the United States cruiser Maine, that had been 
detached from the Atlantic squadron and sent to Cuba at 
Lee*s request, was destroyed at her anchorage in Havana 
Harbor by an explosion, the responsibility for which has not 
been fixed. 


The destruction of the Maine shocked the American 
conscience already disturbed over the sufferings Destruction 
of Cuba, and many respectable leaders, in addi- oi the 
tion to the yellow press, shouted the cry, ** Re- 
member the Maine,'* and demanded a war of vengeance. 

Only a few days before the catastrophe, which seemed 
to reveal deep treachery of Spanish character, occurred a 
slighter event discreditable to Spanish manners. Dupuy 
de L6me, Spanish Minister in Washington, impressed by 
the rising tide of American sentiment, and fearful that 
neither Sherman nor McKinley could withstand it or de- 
sired to, had written a private letter to a Cuban friend in 
which he characterized the President as a supine and spine- 
less politician, and had suggested the desirability of ap- 
parent but unreal compliance by Spain with the American 
deixiands. The publication in facsimile of this letter filched 
from the Havana post-office by an insurgent spy, and ac- 
quired by an American reporter, ended the usefulness of de 
L6me in Washington. It also discredited, in advance of the 
destruction of the Maine, anything that Spain might say or 
do respecting the Maine accident or Cuba. 

The diplomatic course of Spain after the explosion was 
to urge investigation and arbitration in order to fix responsi- 
bility. This was declined, and in the ensuing weeks naval 
boards of inquiry sat separately for Spain and the United 
States, and reached contradictory conclusions. The Spanish 
board, examining in detail only the surrounding floor of the 
harbor, for the doctrine of exterritoriality kept them outside 
the warship's hull, reported that the Maine was destroyed 
by an internal explosion. The American board, diving into 
the mangled hull of the Maine, but not allowed to trespass 
on Spanish territory in exploration of the harbor, ascribed 
the destruction to an external mine. Before either of the 
inconclusive reports was ready for publication, events had 
drifted on. The Spanish Government had shown an inabil- 
ity to act rapidly enough in Cuba to satisfy the enraged 
American opinion, while in the United States an uprising in 
his own party, brought bluntly to his attention by Vice- 


President Hobart, convinced McKinley of the impossibility 
of avoiding intervention. Woodford thought until the last 
that if it had not been for Congress, everything that Cuba 
gained could have been brought about by gradual Spanish 
yielding "without firing a shot or losing a single life." On 
April II President McKinley transmitted to Congress the 
whole problem in the certainty that only war could be its 

The navy of the United States was fully mobilized for war 
four days after the message went to Congress. It was a new 
Naval mo- navy untested by combat, though officered in 
bilization p^^j^ ^y veterans of the Civil War, and adminis- 
tered by Secretary John D. Long, of Massachusetts, with 
the enthusiastic coSperation of Theodore Roosevelt as As- 
sistant Secretary. The birth of the new navy had been of 
interest in America for more than fifteen years. First au- 
thorized in 1882 when the warships of the Civil War were 
rotting in their honorable old age, its first battleship, the 
Indiana f went to sea in 1895. A handful of the new units 
had been sent to Kiel in that year to assist in the ceremonies 
at the opening of the new German canal from the Baltic. 
Already Europe had acclaimed the fact that an American 
naval captain, Alfred Thayer Mahan, had revolutionized 
the theory of naval warfare by his epoch-making volume 
on the influence of sea-power on history. Between the 
Atlanta and the Indiana, the armored cruisers and battle- 
ships New York, Brooklyn, Texas, Maine, with some pro- 
tected cruisers had gone into commission. Following the 
Indiana, the Massachusetts, Oregon, and Iowa had slightly 
increased the number of modem battleships. These with 
the minor vessels had been mobilized by the Navy Depart- 
ment early in 1898, at about the time when the dispatch 
of the Maine to Havana indicated the wisdom of prepa- 
ration for any eventuality. The vessels in the Atlantic 
were brought together near the capes of the Chesapeake, 
and on March 27 Captain W. T. Sampson was given 
command of the whole North Atlantic squadron. In the 
Pacific there were only vessels of the more obsolete classes* 


with the exception of the Oregon which found herself isolated 
on the North Pacific coast. The Oregon was brought to 
San Francisco Bay, docked and scraped at Mare Island, 
and hurried off on her lonely voyage to the Atlantic. No 
other fact had ever stimulated so keenly American zest for 
a canal at Panama. 

The vessels on the Asiatic station had recently received a / 
new commander, through a fortunate selection which was 
due less to merit than to politics. Assistant Secretary 
Roosevelt was responsible for the detail of George Dewey 
to this post, but it was only through the political pressure 
of Senator Redfield Proctor that he became aware of the 
existence and merits of this officer. In the navy as in the 
army dry rot had been the consequence of the ageing of 
Civil War veterans and the indifference of the public and 
Congress. There had been an abrupt departure from naval 
precedent when Roosevelt insisted upon diligence in gun- 
pointing and target practice. In advance of the message of 
April 1 1 , lie had taken the responsibility of ordering Dewey 
to proceed to Hongkong, there to clean ship and outfit, and 
thence in the event of war to proceed to Manila and destroy 
the Spanish Asiatic fleet. In the selection of George Dewey 
he lighted upon a commander with a mind as aggressive as 
his own. 

The President's message of April 11, 1898, was commonly 
regarded as a war message, and in Congress the only serious 
debate had to do with the form that the action The Span- 
should take and the immediate effect of it upon '®^ ^^ 
the lives and safety of Americans in Cuba. For some 
days action was delayed to permit General Lee to commu- 
nicate with Americans on the island in order to bring them 
within reach of safety. The speeches that were made 
bring out that the purpose of American action was peace 
and freedom for the Island of Cuba. No considerable 
group of people or politicians talked of annexation or con- 

The resolutions that were finally passed give testimony to 
the inchoate form of the revolt that was under way. After 


three years of insurrection there was as yet no Cuban gov- 
ernment in existence entitled to even de facto recognition. 
The people of Cuba were recognized as entitled to freedom, 
which Congress pledged itself to bring about, disclaiming 
"any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, juris- 
diction, or control over said island except for the pacification 
thereof'*; and the President was directed to this end to 
make immediate demands on Spain for withdrawal from 
Cuba, and to follow refusal of withdrawal by armed inter- 
vention. The final passage of the resolutions on the 20th of 
April was accepted by Spain as an act of war. The Spanish 
Minister in Washington at once demanded and received his 
passports, and an ultimatum cabled to Woodford for delivery 
at Madrid was never presented because of his dismissal by 
the Spanish Government. By a subsequent resolution Con- 
gress declared that a state of war began on April 21; a 
blockade of Cuba was ordered on April 22, and on the same 
day Congress followed its usual course in military prepara- 
tion by enacting a law for the creation of an army' after the 
war had been declared. 

Three days after the beginning of the war, on April 24, 
a British proclamation of neutrality made it impossible for 
Dewev at Dewey to continue at Hongkong the outfitting of 
Manila j^jg flggt. The war itself had brought into opera- 

tion the orders he had received from Secretary Roosevelt. On 
the 25th he withdrew from Hongkong for a near-by harbor, 
and a few hours later on his flagship the Olympia started 
for Manila Bay. Williams, the former consul at Manila, 
came upon the flagship on the 27th, the day on which 
Matanzas, on the Cuban coast, was bombarded by vessels 
from the Atlantic squadron, with resulting casualties, if one 
may trust the Spanish governor, of a single mule. On the 
early morning of May i, the Olympia led the American 
squadron in through the capes at the mouth of Manila Bay, 
passing over anchored mines that ought to have destroyed 
it, and under guns on shore emplacements that ought to 
have controlled the entrance. It found the Spanish fleet 
drawn up along the water-front of Manila and in leisurely 


fashion, against only an unexpectedly perfunctory defense, 
destroyed the fleet and placed Manila at the mercy of the 
American commander whenever he should receive military 
forces with which to occupy it. 

The date of victory at Manila marks the entry of the 
United States against its will upon an imperial course. It 
marks by chance another entry toward a similar destiny, 
less unintended. While Dewey was battering the Spanish 
ships, off Manila, Prince William of Wied, at a meeting at 
the Hotel Bristol, in the city of Berlin, was laying the 
foundations of the German Navy League whose function 
was to be to show the German Empire the pathway to a new 
glory. The seizure of Kiau-chau had already established 
Germany in a promising field of Asiatic expansion whose 
fertility the accidental arrival of the United States most 
gravely threatened. 


Diplomatic correspondence preceding the war with Spain is in the vol- 
umes of U,S, Foreign Relations, i8gs-g8, and has been summarized in 
three important studies: H. E. Flack, Spanish-American Diplomatic Rela-^ 
tions preceding the War of i8g8 (1906) ; E. J. Benton, International Law and 
Diplomacy of the Spanish-American War (1908) ; and F. E. Chad wick. The 
Relations of the United States and Spain: Diplomacy (1909). J. M. Calla- 
han, Cuba and International Relations (1899), is valuable. C. S. Olcott, 
William McKinley (1916), is the best work available on its subject, but 
needs to be supplemented by Henry Cabot Lodge, The War with Spain 
(1899), and John D. Long, The New American Navy (1903). There are 
biographies or autobiographies of George Dewey, Winfield Scott Schley, 
Alfred T. Mahan, Charles D. Sigsbee. 



The immediate consequence of Dewey's victory at Manila 
was a need for an occupying army. The Spanish fleet had 
been destroyed and Manila was within reach, but the Span- 
ish land forces still occupied Luzon and the adjacent islands, 
and there were no troops at Dewey's disposal for grasping 
the fruits of victory. The Spanish forces were already en- 
gaged, in the Philippines as in Cuba, in putting down a 
native revolt. A prominent native leader, Emilio Agui- 
naldo, whom the war found in exile in China, was brought 
back to the islands by Dewey for the purpose of keeping 
the revolt alive. The first specific demand upon the War 
Department was for an expeditionary force, which was 
speedily assembled in San Francisco under General Wes- 
ley Merritt, and which on August 13, 1898, occupied the 
city of Manila by assault. 

As in the case of the voyage of the Oregon^ the operations 
in the Philippines brought an old movement to final fruition. 
The PhUip- '^^^ Oregon constituted an object-lesson whose 
mnesand teachings made the Panama Canal imperative. 

The possession of Manila revealed the strategic 
importance of the Hawaiian Islands. A movement for the 
annexation of these islands, arising locally in their Ameri- 
can population, had been encouraged by President Harrison 
and snubbed by Cleveland. President McKinley negotiated 
a treaty for its consummation in 1897, but the Senate failed 
to ratify it. On July 7, 1898, Congress took the project out 
of the hands of the Senate, and passed a joint resolution 
. as a consequence of which the Republic of Hawaii was 
' annexed to the United States. On June 14, 1900, it was 
given status as a Territory of the United States. 

Congress had begun its debate upon the formation of an 
army during the concluding weeks of the diplomatic dis- 


cussion with Spain. It was conceded that the basis must 
be the regular army, which on April i comprised Army icgis- 
2143 officers and 26,040 enlisted men, the or- ^^'^" 
ganized National Guard of the States, and volunteers. 
The regular army was on April 26 authorized to be raised 
in strength to 62,597. The volunteer army was authorized 
four days earlier, and upon April 23 President McKinley 
issued a call for 125,000 volunteers apportioned among the 
States. By August, when mobilization was complete, the 
volunteer army comprised 8785 officers and 207,244 men. 

The volunteer law authorized the President to accept three 
volunteer regiments of cavalry. Of these the most impor- 
tant was raised by Leonard Wood, a captain in the Medical 
Corps, who was to be ** advanced within a few months from 
attending surgeon to major-general of volunteers," and 
who was actively supported by his friend, Assistant Secre- 
tary of the Navy Roosevelt. The regiment was recruited 
among the outdoor men who perpetuated the tradition of 
the frontier marksman whom Roosevelt described in his 
Winning of the West. Under the nickname of the ** Rough 
Riders" it became the most widely known single unit in 
the war. 

Not until after the passage of the army bills in April did 
the War Department hold itself at liberty to begin specific 
preparations for war. The regular army was as usual 
diffused on duty throughout the country. The Secretary 
of War, General Russell A. Alger, of Michigan, had been 
chosen because of his political importance to the Hanna- 
McKinley organization. His Civil War record had been 
so dubious that McKinley had deferred appointment until 
Senator Julius C. Burrows, of Michigan, had personally in- 
vestigated and underwritten it. The army itself was under 
command of General Nelson A. Miles, senior major-general 
with long years of Indian police experience on the plains 
and the recollection of a lad's gallant services in the Civil 
War. The administrative bureaus of the War Department 
were in conunand of elderly officers whose business routine 
had been unbroken for years. The line officers of the army 


and the enlisted men were well trained and effective in their 
work, but no general plans for any war existed in the depart- 
ment, nor was there a planning agency fit to execute them. 
The normal consequence of an army under command of its 
senior officers, with the rule of seniority generally applied, 
was an army under the command of its least flexible and 
most irascible leaders, whose careers were already behind 

One of the statutes passed by Congress in anticipation 
of war was an appropriation of fifty million dollars, on 
March 9 "for national defense and for each and every 
purpose connected therewith, to be expended at the dis- 
cretion of the President." This fund was expended largely 
in guarding the coast and strengthening the navy. It 
was ruled, said Secretary Alger, that the accumulation of 
military supplies by the army was offensive rather than 
defensive, and his establishment accordingly watched the 
approach of the crisis without funds or authority to pre- 
pare to meet it. The passage of the army bills and the 
calls for volunteers precipitated immediate action and ex- 
pansion that strained the administrative capacity of the 
War Department's bureaus. General Merritt's expedition- 
ary force was got ready first, and then units of the regular 
army were mobilized at Tampa to constitute the nucleus 
of an army for Cuban invasion, while the volunteer forces 
were mostly assembled in training camp at Chickamauga. 

The First Volunteer Cavalry selected San Antonio as its 
mobilizing point, and proceeded thence to join the regu- 
lars at Tampa. Its senior officers were thoroughly familiar 
with the channels which led to action in the departments, 
and secured for their volunteer force the greatest of military 
opportunities. General William R. Shafter, from Michigan, 
as were Secretary Alger and Senator Burrows, was given 
command of the invading army, which was about 17,000 
strong by the first of June. His camp at Tampa lay at the 
end of a single-track railroad, and was a rising winter resort 
of the Florida west coast. Hither trainloads of troops and 
supplies were shipped sometimes without orders or bills of 


lading. The war correspondents crowded the veranda of 
the great resort hotel waiting for something to happen, and 
describing the confusion of a planless mobilization as in- 
cisively as they dared. General Adna R. Chaffee, later 
chief of staff, but then lieutenant-colonel of the Third Cav- 
alry, in charge of a division, witnessed at Tampa " the com- 
plete breaking down of the quartermaster and commissary 
departments." The medical department did not break 
down until it reached the field. 

The immediate objective of the army of invasion remained 
to be determined as events developed. There were plans 
for raiding the Cuban coast, and for an invasion of the Ha- 
vana district the following winter, after the new recruits 
had received their training; but before the end of May the 
activities of the navy had revealed a special need for co- 
operation by the army. 

Before the outbreak of the war the navy had mobilized 
in the Chesapeake. Captain W. T. Sampson had been ele- 
vated to command of the North Atlantic fleet, 
and a portion of his force had been grouped as a and the^ 
flying squadron for patrol work under the com- a^"^'^ 
mand of Commodore Winfield S. Schley. On 
paper the Spanish fleet excelled the American fleet in 
major units, tonnage, and broadside strength. It was 
known that no considerable naval force was in the Car- 
ibbean, and that Admiral Cervera was gathering his fleet 
at the Cape Verde Islands, with a destination unannounced 
but certain. As Mahan had pointed out a decade earlier, 
the effective radius of a modem fleet was the bunker capac- 
ity of its units, while its speed was determined by that of 
its slowest member. The strategy board on which Mahan 
was now sitting was rightly convinced that Cervera could 
have no destination except some Spanish port in Cuba or 
Porto Rico, with the former more probable since he carried 
supplies for the army in Havana. No fleet could cross 
the Atlantic and be ready for immediate maneuver against 
the enemy, and the Spanish fleet could not hope to find the 
facilities for recoaling and repair except at the Spanish 


ports of San Juan, in Porto Rico, or Havana, Cienfuegos, or 
Santiago, in Cuba. With entire certainty the Navy De- 
partment prepared to intercept the Spanish fleet which 
sailed on April 29, and to destroy it at sea before it reached 
shelter in a Spanish colonial port. 

Under the command of Sampson, the North Atlantic 
fleet maintained the blockade of Cuban waters, where 
Patrol of ^^^ Oregon joined it after her thrilling trip on 
Cuban May 24; the flying squadron under Schley was 

detailed to patrol the southern coast of Cuba, 
and left Key West for that duty on May 19. The rest of 
Sampson's command, under his immediate control, watched 
the passages leading to Cuba from the north between Porto 
Rico and the Florida channel. 

The strategic certainty of the Navy Department was dis- 
turbed by the nervousness of the seaboard cities. From 
Savannah to Portland there was apprehension of a Spanish 
bombardment. Mythical Spanish warships were daily re- 
ported in the newspapers, and nearly as often delegations 
of Congressmen waited upon the Secretary of the Navy to 
remind him of his duty to protect their constituents. The 
political pressure was so great that at least apparent com- 
pliance had to follow, and various unseaworthy gunboats, 
manned with little more than minimum crews for naviga- 
tion alone, were dispatched to He off'shore and give comfort 
to the nervous souls of seaboard citizens. 

The patrol of the Cuban coast from May 19 until June i 
became at a later date the occasion for a naval investiga- 
tion which made public many of the facts of the naval war. 
Its chief intent was frustrated by the fact that on May 19, 
as Schley set sail from Key West, Cervera steamed into the 
landlocked harbor of Santiago. The news of his safe ar- 
rival in Cuba remained a secret for some hours, and even 
when rumor of it had leaked into the United States it was 
impossible at once to establish communication with the 
ships at sea. Scout cruisers were hurried out, carrying first 
the rumor, then news when the rumor was confirmed, then 
specific orders to Schley to proceed at top speed to Santiago 


and blockade the port. Yet it was not until the morning 
of May 29 that any obstruction to the emergence of Cer- 
vera's fleet was consciously established. In these ten days 
there was nothing to prevent a coaling of the fleet and a raid, 
perhaps successful, against the North Atlantic coast — noth- 
ing except the fact, then unknown, that the Spanish fleet 
was in no condition either to raid or fight. 

The cruise of the flying squadron from Key West pro- 
ceeded leisurely around the western end of Cuba with the 
idea of visiting first the port of Cienfuegos, Blockade 
which was one of the conceivable objectives of ^^ Santiago 
the Spanish fleet. As the cruiser Brooklyn approached 
port, flying the flag of the squadron commander, noises 
were heard that were interpreted as gun-fire in honor of 
Cervera's safe arrival there. Even Sampson believed at 
this time that Cienfuegos would bear watching. For two 
days, from May 22 to May 24, the flying squadron kept up 
its blockade of Cienfuegos without learning whether the 
enemy was there or not. The harbor was landlocked and 
no methods were devised to explore its recesses. On the 
24th, on receipt of orders indicating that Santiago might be 
the place, Schley resumed his cruise toward the east. He 
arrived off Santiago on the evening of the 26th, perhaps in 
sight of the anchorage at which the Spanish warships had 
lain for seven days. Neither Schley's force, nor scout 
cruisers from Sampson's fleet, confirmed by observation the 
rumor that Cervera was in Santiago. The next day with 
his bunkers running low of coal, and with a heavy sea in- 
terfering with recoaling from the colliers, Schley decided to 
return to Key West, sending a message to the Navy De- 
partment of his inability to remain on station. When the 
weather moderated, he changed his mind and remained off 
Santiago. On the 28th he coaled his ships there, while at 
Washington an agonized Navy Department, knowing that 
Cervera's fleet was unwatched, was uncertain as to Schley's 
station or intention. Sampson, learning of the confusion 
upon one of his returns to Key West from a patrolling dash 
along the north shore of Cuba, hurried off to Santiago^ 


where meanwhile Schley had on May 29 sighted the Span- 
ish fleet. Admiral Sampson arrived off Santiago June i, 
and on the next day issued a general order for the main- 
tenance of a blockade, assigning each vessel to its station 
with directions as to its course in case Cervera should bring 
his squadron out, and invite a fleet engagement by turning 
to the east or to the west. 

From this date Schley had no duties in command. By 
day the larger warships lay offshore in a wide arc watching 
the opening between the cliffs that command and conceal 
the harbor. At night the line drew farther in toward shore, 
and the battleships took turns in occupying a position 
directly in front of the entrance and focusing their new 
naval weapon, the searchlight, upon the cliffs. In the 
intervals between the battleships and cruisers that were 
stationed from east to west, in the order New York, Indiana, 
Oregon, Iowa, Texas, and Brooklyn, were the smaller units 
of the fleet, cruisers, converted yachts, and other irregular 
warships. On June 7, Guantanamo Bay, some forty miles 
east of Santiago, was occupied by Marines in anticipation 
of its possible use as an invading point. Thereafter while 
the blockade lasted, the various warships in their turn left 
their stations and steamed to Guantanamo to coal. 

No attempt was made to force the channel at Santiago 
and engage the Spanish fleet at anchor as Dewey had done 
at Manila. Dewey, indeed, had received the high rewards 
for heroic disregard of danger, and was finally given the rank 
of Admiral of the Navy for life. But specific orders were 
issued after his engagement that there should be no more of 
its type. Sampson was under instructions not to risk the 
loss of any of his irreplaceable battleships in *'the bom- 
bardment of fortifications.*' The doctrine of *'Damn the 
torpedoes. Go ahead!" was Farragut's at Mobile and 
Dewey's at Manila, but was not a doctrine for a weak navy 
in the face of a superior adversary. 

As soon as Sampson established his effective blockade at 
Santiago, he appealed to Washington for a military force 
to occupy the land fortifications of the harbor, and either 


to enable the American fleet to enter in safety or to drive 
the Spanish out. On May 30 orders were issued ^ ^^^^ 
to General Shaf ter to proceed on transports to navy co- 
Cuba and to join the fleet off Santiago. The ^*^^ 
first week in June was occupied by a scurrying aboard 
transports at Tampa, and on the 7th the convoy was ready 
to set sail. The rumor of the presence of a mythical Span- 
ish warship cruising in the Gulf delayed the sailing until 
June 14. Six days later, after an uneventful voyage, a 
junction of the forces took place, and Sampson and Shafter 
entered into conference upon the line of action. 

The plan of Sampson, which he believed to have been 
accepted at the conference, involved a landing of troops 
near the entrance to the harbor, after which the Spanish 
forces were to be expelled from the hills and fortifications 
overlooking the channel. This would make it possible to 
proceed later with a joint attack upon the fleet and the 
Spanish land forces. On the 3d of June an attempt had 
been made to prevent the egress of the Spanish fleet by 
sinking a collier, the Merrimac, across the narrows of the 
channel. The effort partially failed, but the cool young 
commander who attempted it, Richmond P. Hobson, be- 
came one of the popular heroes of the war. It is uncer- 
tain what the effect of success would have been upon the 
strategy of the combined forces. 

General Shafter left the conference of June 20 believing 
that he had made it clear that his intention was to make a 
landing east of the harbor "and march on Santiago." He 
proceeded, to the dismay of Sampson, to act upon this 

After the conference with his commanders on June 21, 
Shafter published brief orders which were to govern the 
landing the following day. With negligible re- g^^^i^ ^j 
sistance from the Spanish forces, and with the Las Gua- 
assistance of the boats from the fleet (which 
Long had offered and Alger had curtly declined a few days 
earlier), a disembarkation was made along a mining rail- 
road from Siboney to Daiquiri several miles east of the 


channel, and some eighteen miles southeast of Santiago 
by the direct trail through the tropical jungle. The first 
troops to land cleared the adjacent hills of sharpshooters, 
and most of the forces were on shore before the end of 
the 23d. From Siboney the narrow and much-worn trail 
through the jungle loam led toward the Spanish entrench- 
ments and entanglements east and south of Santiago. 
Without orders on the night of the 23d the troops swarmed 
inland along this path. The nature of the terrain made it 
less important that most of the cavalry horses had been left 
behind at Tampa together with many of the ambulances 
of the medical department and other wheeled vehicles be- 
longing to the supply service. Along a jungle path only 
a pack-mule could advance with comfort. The morning of 
the 24th found the head of the column deployed along the 
line of hills marked by a junction in the trails at a point 
known to the Cubans as Las Guasimas. The Rough Riders 
were here too, dismounted but enterprising, for they had 
marched all night without orders and unchecked by su- 
perior command, in order to select for themselves a good 
fighting place upon the front. The correspondents and the 
military reports differ as to whether the column was am- 
bushed or expected the engagement that the Spanish out- 
posts offered at Las Guasimas, but here on the 24th was 
the first military engagement of importance with nearly a 
thousand American troops involved, fighting rather blindly 
in the forest, and with some seventy casualties which fell 
most heavily upon Colonel Wood's First Volunteer Cavalry. 
During the next week General Shafter established con- 
trol over his army and prepared for his Santiago campaign 
Independent of Sampson's force. 


Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Riders (1899), is the classic of the war, and 
is supplemented by R. H. Davis, The Cuban and Porto Rican Campaigns 
(1899), and the official histories, John D. Long, The New American Navy 
(1903), and Russell A. Alger, The Spanish-American War (1901). The 
Annual Reports (1898) of Long and Alger contain many documents. 
W. A. M. Goode, With Sampson through the War (1899), and J. D. Miley, 


In Cuba with Shafter (1899), are narratives by journalistic eye-witnesses. 
A convenient summary is H. W. Wilson, The Downfall of Spain (1899); 
much more important is F. E. Chadwick, The Relations of the United 
States and Spain: The Spanish-American War (191 1). 



From Siboney to the fortifications around Santiago there 
extended a dense forest with no improved roads and with 
Advance only one important direct trail. Shortly before 
on Santiago reaching the Spanish trenches and wire entangle- 
ments, the forest gave way to an open valley through which 
the San Juan River flowed southwestward, and along the 
western ridge of which the Spanish station had been taken. 
General Shafter prepared for a direct attack along the line 
of this road, and for an enveloping movement headed at 
the Santiago waterworks at El Caney, some six miles up 
the San Juan above the crossing of the trail. The army was 
entirely ashore by the 25th, and in the remaining days of 
June its units were sorted out, and its brigade commanders 
were given their tasks in connection with the general ad- 
vance which was to take place on the night preceding 
July I. The Spanish forces made no serious attempt to in- 
terfere with these preparations, but instead discussed with 
the Government at Havana the course to be taken in de- 
fense and the possibility of saving a portion of the fleet 
through flight. 

On the evening of June 30 the regiments got into position, 
with Shafter sick in his tent behind the lines at El Pozo, and 
deriving his information at second-hand. Lawton on the 
right of the line moved early in the evening for his detour by 
another jungle trail against El Caney and the Spanish block- 
houses defending it. Early on the morning of July i the 
double attack opened. Its strategy was partly defeated at 
the start by a stubborn Spanish resistance at El Caney. 
Lawton, instead of wiping out the Spanish left and rejoining 
the main American column early in the day, was detained at 
El Caney until late in the afternoon, and came back into 
line the following morning after thirty-six weary hours. 


The advance against the hills beyond the San Juan took 
place as arranged. The trenches here were assaulted and 
Battle of taken. The Rough Riders, now under the com- 
San Juan mand of Colonel Roosevelt, charged at the right 
of the main column, having their chief engagement at Ket- 
tle Hill, somewhat northeast of the San Juan hills. That 
night the American forces occupied and reversed the Span- 
ish trenches. On the 2d of July the engagement continued 
with considerable rifle fire all day, and by evening Shafter 
began to wonder whether he was able to retain the ground 
he had seized. The possibility of a withdrawal was dis- 
cussed with Washington, while Sampson was appealed to 
to force the channel, engage the Spanish fleet, and create a 
diversion in the Spanish rear. Arrangements were made 
for a conference at Siboney on the morning of the 3d, in 
order that the two commanders might reconstruct their 
plan of action. 

The successful assault upon the land defenses of Santiago 
convinced the Spanish authorities of the certainty of defeat. 
Upon July 2 Admiral Cervera was ordered to take his fleet 
to sea, and to run the risk of total destruction in the hope 
that some of the units might escape. He had known before 
leaving Spain, and had made record of the fact, that he was 
being sent to defeat. The Spanish Ministry of Marine had 
known that his fleet was hardly seaworthy, and in no sense 
ready for an engagement. The heavy guns of his largest 
ship were not mounted in the turrets, but were carried as 
cargo in the hold. The fleet was sent to sea because of in- 
sistence on the part of Spanish opinion, and because the 
Ministry feared that the monarchy could not stand an open 
confession of naval incapacity. Defeat in battle would be 
less of a blow. 

The American battle fleet was, as usual, drawn up facing 
the entrance to the harbor at daybreak on Sunday, July 3. 
Naval At about eight o'clock Sampson started off in the 

battle ^^^ York, from his station near the right of the 

line, for his conference with Shafter. At nine-thirty-five 
the lookouts on the Brooklyn sighted the first vessel of the 


Spanish column coming out. It turned sharply to the west 
and within the next few minutes the naval fight was on. 

Every American commander had his orders from Admiral 
Sampson as to his conduct in such a battle, and the vessels 
immediately closed in to hold the Spanish fleet against the 
shore, and to destroy it there. Commodore Schley, on the 
bridge of the Brooklyn^ assumed that the departure of Samp- 
son had left him as the senior in command of the fleet. He 
signaled orders to the other vessels, which appear to have 
been ignored. The emerging column headed for a few min- 
utes directly at the Brooklyn, which lay southwest of the 
entrance. Instead of swerving to the left and taking im- 
mediately a westward course parallel to the Spanish fleet, 
Schley ordered and the Brooklyn executed a loop to the 
right, and nearly rammed the Texas, its right-hand neigh- 
bor, that was closing in according to its orders. After com- 
pleting the circuit to the right that carried it away from 
the danger of being rammed by the outcoming squadron, 
the Brooklyn swerved back into the line of pursuit and 
speedily took the lead. Sampson meanwhile had proceeded 
some six miles east from his station before the flight was 
observed, and turning brought up the rear of the pursuit 
rapidly overtaking the rest of his warships. The Oregon, 
Brooklyn, and Texas did the bulk of the damage in the 
chase, and one by one the Spanish ships were beached and 
burned. The chase ended some forty-three miles west of 
Santiago, when the last of the fugitives turned her nose 
in shore for safety at about half-past two. The flagship 
arrived on the scene to receive the surrender of the prisoners 
as Schley was preparing to receive them, and a little later 
that night Sampson's report of the engagement took the 
wires ahead of the report which Schley had wished to send. 

The overwhelming victory at sea reversed the whole 
military situation, and in the following fortnight Shafter 
entered into correspondence with the Spanish Health of 
commanders for an unconditional surrender of ^*^^^"^y 
their forces. This occurred July 17, when the formal capitu- 
lation was C?trried put, *The surrender was received by an 


American army riddled with fever and in danger of exter- 
mination from tropical diseases within the next few weeks. 
The army had been landed in the tropics at the beginning 
of the hottest season, in uniforms which had been designed 
for winters on the western plains. Group sanitation was 
yet in its infancy, and the medical department was un- 
provided with medicines and hospital facilities for the treat- 
ment of malaria, dysentery, and yellow fever. There was 
some question as to whether the fighting morale of the army 
could last until the capitulation of Santiago. Thereafter 
it speedily broke down. On August 3 a ** round robin " was 
prepared under the leadership of volunteer officers who had 
no military careers to hope for, asserting that the army must 
be withdrawn to a cooler climate at once in order to be 
saved. The regular officers, who were prevented by the 
bonds of discipline from taking the lead in this sort of action, 
were nevertheless nearly unanimous as to its need. The 
responsibility was largely Colonel Roosevelt's, and upon him 
fell much of the criticism when the protest was given to the 
Associated Press before it was turned over to military 
channels for transmission to Washington. The protest 
accomplished its purpose. On August 8 the expeditionary 
force started for a new camp at Montauk Point on Long 
Islandi Of the total force, that had been increased by this 
time to about 25,000, four fifths were sick when they landed 
in the United States. 

The third of the expeditionary forces was put together 
after the battle of Santiago, under the command of General 
Miles. It was ordered to proceed to Porto Rico. Preceded 
by the war correspondents, who, like the army, found the 
Porto Ricans passive and indifferent, it accomplished its 
purpose only to be halted on the eve of its first engagement 
by notification that the war was over. 

Negotiations for an armistice and peace were opened by 
Spain through Jules Cambon, the French Ambassador at 
^ . . Washington, a few days after the capitulation of 

Santiago. He found in the State Department a 
new Secretary and a definite program, John Sherman had 


given way to William B. Day, an old personal associate 
of the President, who had been Assistant Secretary of State 
since the formation of the Administration. As the relations 
with Spain had become more difficult. Judge Day had quietly 
taken over more and more of the detail work in the Depart- 
ment, with the approval of McKinley, but to the great 
chagrin of his immediate chief. Sherman was incapacitated 
by age and health for his duties, and finally resigned on 
April 25, when he found his Assistant Secretary actually 
summoned to Cabinet meetings. Judge Day met the pro- 
posal for an armistice with a demand for the withdrawal 
of Spain from the Western Hemisphere. The draft of a 
protocol to be followed by a conference on peace was handed 
to Cambon on August 10. Two days later he signed it on 
behalf of Spain, and the Adjutant-General hurried copies 
of it by telegraph to the three commanders in the field, to 
Shafter at Santiago, to Miles at Ponce, and to Merritt at 
Manila. Before it arrived at the last post, Merritt had on 
the day following its signature stormed and occupied the 
city of Manila. 

The first problem which was taken up by the peace 
commissioners when they convened at Paris, October i. 
The Peace 1 898, was presented by this post-armistice cap- 
Commission ^re of the city of Manila. The American Gov- 
emment refused to accede to the demand that the status 
quo of August 12 be restored, but it accepted the principle 
that the islands had not been conquered and that their 
status was subject to negotiation. 

The American Commission included four Republicans, 
Day, Davis, Frye, and Reid, and one Democrat, Judge 
George Gray. Day had withdrawn from the State Depart- 
ment to accept the chairmanship. To fill his place Presi- 
dent McKinley recalled from London the American Am- 
bassador, John Hay. Since early boyhood John Hay had 
been familiar with the intimate workings of Republican 
Governments. As one of Lincoln's private secretaries, he 
had come to know Washington in war-time, and later he 
was Assistant Secretary of State under President Hayes. 


As a man of letters he had been prominent for thirty years. 
"If there is a man in the country who is handy with his 
intellectuals," wrote E. S. Martin, ''Colonel Hay is that 
person; but he has been a lucky man, too." He had writ- 
ten verse that he regarded as too amusing and popular for 
his dignity. His anonymous novel, The Bread-Winners, 
was the best seller of 1884. As the joint biographer of 
Lincoln with John J. Nicolay he had helped to establish 
the great reputation of a national leader. In London as 
Ambassador he had shared the credit for keeping England 
friendly throughout the Spanish War. He now for the first 
time in his life came into great responsibility, as part of a 
Government before whiclr the vistas of world influence had 
opened, and which was ready to give instant adhesion to 
a new idea of empire, the doctrine of the open door. 

The instructions of the peace commissioners were definite 
as far as the American campaigns were concerned. Cuba 
was to be set free without encumbrance, and problem 
Porto Rico was to be ceded to the United States, of the 
The Philippine Islands constituted a new prob- * ^pp**^^ 
lem for which public opinion was not yet ready, and which 
the Protocol of August 12 had deferred for consideration at 
Paris. As the autumn advanced the factors controlling 
their destiny proved to turn upon relative disadvantages 
rather than benefits. No thought of conquest in the Phil- 
ippines or elsewhere preceded the Spanish War, and no 
serious desire to begin a colonial system was in evidence. 
The most definite body of public opinion was fundamen- 
tally opposed to colonial control as un-American and un- 
democratic; but against the disadvantages involved in 
holding the Philippines McKinley weighed the greater dan- 
gers to their people in letting them go. The combined 
force of Aguinaldo's insurrection and Dewey's victory had 
broken down the Spanish power beyond repair. The in- 
surgents, although they pretended to maintain a provisional 
government, had even fewer elements of stability than 
were in Cuba. Independence was unthinkable. The ob- 
vious desires of at least one great power, Germany, to 


maneuver the United States out of the position which 
Dewey had grasped, suggested that freedom for the Fili- 
pinos would be of short duration. On October 25 McKinley 
wrote to Day, ** There is a very general feeling that the 
United States, whatever it might prefer as to the Philip- 
pines, is in a situation where it cannot let go." On the 
following day specific instructions were cabled to the peace 
commissioners, that while the President was sensible of the 
grave responsibilities involved, the United States must 
retain the whole of the Philippine archipelago. 

After brushing aside the Spanish contention as to the 
Philippine status quo, the commissioners took up the next 
contentions that Cuba must be ♦transferred to the United 
States rather than simply abandoned by Spain, and that 
the Cuban debt must go with the island. Both of these 
claims were rejected, and by the end of October it seemed 
doubtful whether the Spanish Commissioners could be 
brought to agree to a treaty. The demand for the cession 
of the Philippine Islands, formally presented on Novem- 
ber I , increased the danger of deadlock, which was finally 
avoided by the concession that the transfer of the islands 
was not based upon conquest, but was in lieu of cash in- 
demnity for war costs, and by the added willingness to 
reimburse Spain to the extent of twenty million dollars for 
her cash outlay upon the Philippine Islands. On Decem- 
ber 10, 1898, the treaty was signed at Paris, and early in 
January was transmitted to the Senate, for approval by the 
constitutional two thirds. 

The wave of feeling against the retention of the islands 
mounted steadily through the autumn of 1898, and re- 
Congres- ceived the support of most of those in both 
sionalelec- parties who had opposed the war, and of an 

additional group of Republicans, who feared 
national decay as a consequence of empire and were speed- 
ily known as ** anti-imperialists.** A large proportion of 
the Democratic Party opposed the Republican policies 
which had permitted the war and its consequences. The 
Congressional election of November, 1898, made it possible 


to measure these forces of dissatisfaction and estimate the 
political consequences of the war. 

As a result of the election the Republican majority in 
both houses was increased. The forces which had made for 
free-silver votes two years earlier had materially weakened 
with the improvement of business conditions. The war 
had been most popular throughout the Middle West, and 
brought back to the Republican Party votes that had been 
lost for several years. Democratic campaigners warned 
their audiences against the dangers of imperialism, while 
Republican opponents pointed out that the military victory 
could be retained and a satisfactory treaty negotiated only 
by the support of the Administration that had won the war. 

The campaign brought out the one permanent hero of 
the Spanish War. Theodore Roosevelt had already aroused 
the interest of progressive citizens because of his devotion 
to clean government, and of herc-lovers because of his con- 
tinuous and breezy appeals. His regiment had brought 
him a larger fame. His defense 01 the health and safety 
of the troops at Santiago had incurred the displeasure of 
the McKinley Government and War Department, but had 
widened his personal popularity. He returned to the hos- 
pital camp at Montauk Point on Long Island a colonel in 
khaki and a national figure. 

There had been no experience in New York politics so 
refreshing as that of 1898 since Grover Cleveland, the 
mayor of Buffalo, in 1882 became reform candidate for 
governor. The community, tired of the tricks of machine 
politics, whose notoriety had been increased by the recent 
experiences of New York City, turned with eagerness to 
the new personality. The managers of the Republican 
Party found it necessary to lay aside their slate and to 
appear to welcome Colonel Roosevelt as their candidate for 
governor. His canvass for that office was his first expe- 
rience in a general and personal appeal for votes. From the 
rear platform of his special train he carried the campaign 
into all corners of the State, and early in 1899 was installed 
victorious at Albany ''standing by the Ten Commandments 


to the very best of his ability, and humping himself to 
promote fair play." 

Before the first of the year there was a real question 
whether the treaty could be ratified. Demobilization of 
Ratifica- ^^^ army had proceeded rapidly, and there was 
tion of the a suggestion for scandal in nearly every field of 
^^ ^ war activity. The advocates of Schley and 

Sampson were mutually conscious of injustice to their 
favorite. Secretary Alger was denounced as incompetent. 
The administration of Shafter was under fire. The Quar- 
termaster's department was under charge of criminal in- 
adequacy. A strong minority in the dominant party op- 
posed the terms of peace, while the Democratic opposition 
responded freely to the arguments of William J. Bryan 
against imperialism. The treaty was sent to the Senate in 
January, and was ratified after five weeks' debate, by a bare 
two thirds. The uncertainty up until the final vote would 
have resulted in defeat had not Bryan taken the attitude 
that the treaty must not be repudiated and that any in- 
justices created by it must be corrected subsequently by the 
United States. He turned his party toward the idea of 
ultimate independence for the Philippines. 

Within the Republican Party there was serious dissent 
with Hoar, of Massachusetts, in the lead, but the junior 
Senator from that State, Henry Cabot Lodge, spoke for the 
view that prevailed in final ratification: "We must either 
ratify the treaty or reject it. . . . The President cannot be 
sent back across the Atlantic in the person of his commis- 
sioners, hat in hand, to say to Spain with bated breath, *I 
am here in obedience to the mandate of a minority of one 
third of the Senate to tell you that we have been too vic- 
torious, and that you have yielded us too much.' 

» f» 


Most of the documents upon which military judgments on the Santiago 
campaign are based are to be found in the Proceedings of Court of Inquiry 
in Case of Winfield S. Schley (1902), 57th Cong., ist Sess., House Doc. 
485 ; the Report on the Conduct of the War Department in the War (1899), 
56th Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Doc. 221 ; and the War and Navy Department 


Reports for 1898. The negotiations at Paris may be followed in the papers 
that were transmitted to the Senate with the treaty of peace, 55th Cong., 
3d Sess., Sen. Doc. 62. Admiral French E. Chad wick, The Relations of the 
United States and Spain: The Spanish-American War (191 1), is the most 
valuable general account, and may be supplemented by Colonel H. H. 
Sargent, The Campaign of Santiago de Cuba (1907), which is a critical and 
technical account. Much of the personal correspondence relating to the 
treaty negotiations is in Olcott's William McKinley, Thayer's Life and 
Letters of John Hay, and Royal Cortissoz, The Life of Whitelaw Reid 
(1921). D. C. Worcester, The Philippine Islands (1899), was hurriedly 
compiled by a young scientist who chanced to have visited them, and 
became in its subsequent editions the standard work. Other data are in 
Joseph Wheeler, The Santiago Campaign (1899), and Nelson A. Miles, 
Serving the Republic (191 1). 



No American President has dealt with Congress more 
happily than William McKinley did. His long service in 

the lower house had familiarized him with the 
and the^^ methods of lawmaking and the habits of Con- 
R^ublican gress. His special field of Congressional interest, 

the protective tariff, is one in which the price of 
success is a high ability in compromise. The tact, sympa- 
thy, and unselfishness that he had developed while recon- 
ciling rival and antagonistic claim? for protection served 
him well when he was removed to the other end of Penn- 
sylvania Avenue, and presided over the nation. 

Th« election of 1898 strengthened the tendency already 
visible when McKinley was elected two years earlier. 
Hanna in the Senate stood for a new type of commercial 
statesman. Quay, the master manipulator of Pennsyl- 
vania politics, had sat as junior Senator since 1887, a 
worthy junior to Don Cameron. Upon the retirement of 
Cameron, Quay became senior Senator, and assisted in the 
election of his political heir apparent, Boies Penrose. From 
New York Senator Thomas Collier Piatt, **the easy boss,** 
came back in 1897. His earlier career in the Senate had 
been unexpectedly ended when he resigned with Conkling 
in a fit of petulance because of Garfield*s assertion of the 
rights of the President. As a business politician no Senator 
stood higher than Piatt. Joseph B. Foraker, of Ohio, a 
tested ** spell-binder," strong in the Civil War tradition, 
came within the same group. 

In 1899 Quay's second term expired, and he failed of re- 
election because he was under trial on charge of gross mis- 
application of Pennsylvania State funds. His attorneys 
pleaded the statute of limitations and he was acquitted, 
yet the legislature declined to reelect him. Upon the ad- 


joumment of that body, there being an unfilled vacancy 
in the Pennsylvania delegation, Governor Stone appointed 
Quay as Senator^ and in the following winter Quay's Re- 
publican colleagues in the Senate were driven to the em- 
barrassing necessity of deciding whether to seat him or 
reject him. By a vote of thirty-three to thirty-two ad- 
mission was refused him. 

A distasteful atmosphere of business in politics swept 
across the country. In New York the Democratic boss, 
Richard Croker, had shown a disposition which Bumneas 
indicated that ** moral obliviousness" was not "*Pol»^*c8 
confined to either party. " My theory is this," he said, " to 
the victors belong the spoils. We win. We expect every 
one to stand by us. Because men are loyal to us, you call 
that plunder. I have to make a living, the same as you." 

The second Congress of McKinley found the Republican 
majorities increased, the Administration enriched by the 
reputation of a successful foreign war, and the q^j^. 
votes provided for the complete fulfillment of standard 
the pledge of 1896. Sound money, or the gold ^* 
standard, had been elected in that year, but there were 
enough silver Republican votes in the Senate to prevent 
the passage of a gold-standard law. The promised eflFort 
to negotiate for international bimetallism had been in vain 
because Europe was uninterested. In the winter of 1899 a 
new currency act was formulated. 

The great free-silver debate, that was part of the Populist 
protest against hard times, illustrated the old truth that* 
connects inflation movements with debtor frontiers. The 
same truth had been frequently illustrated from the be- 
ginning of American history. The debate also revealed the 
clear defects of the currency and credit situation, and the 
fact that the national banking system had been better 
adapted to uphold the credit of Civil War bonds than to 
maintain a flexible and adequate currency. The sub- 
treasury system was revealed as an unnecessary hoarding 
device to keep real money out of circulation. Free silver 
was beaten in 1896, but it was still necessary to establish 


the principle of the gold standard by law and to devise an 
adequate system for federal finance. This latter need 
remained unsatisfied till 191 3 — but votes were available, 
in the currency act of March 14, 1900, to specify gold as the 
standard of value, to legalize the gold reserve at $150,000,- 
000, and to require the Treasury to maintain all the lawful 
money of the United States at a parity with gold. It was 
not clear that the Treasury could do this if a severe crisis 
should develop, since the gold reserve was many times ex- 
ceeded by the aggregate of the redeemable currency, which 
included the Civil War greenbacks ($346,000,000), the 
Treasury notes of 1890 ($76,000,000), and the silver, coined 
or bullion ($643,000,000), every dollar of which lacked 
fifty- three cents of being worth its face in gold. The na- 
tional bank notes ($331,000,000), based entirely upon the 
credit of the United States, were an added burden upon the 
gold reserve. ' 

The demand for free silver ceased before the passage 
of the Currency Act. It was fundamentally a hard-times 
Revival of demand and the hard times had yielded to pros- 
prospenty perity. The financial crisis of 1893 passed its 
crest when Cleveland won his victory over the forces of 
immediate inflation, and secured the repeal of the Sherman 
Silver Purchase Act. The depression that followed the 
crisis coincided with the years of the greatest Populist suc- 
cess, 1893-96. The supplies of capital ready for invest- 
ment had been exhausted in the speculative splurges of the 
later eighties. Until additional capital was accumulated, 
by the unromantic and painful methods of economy, there 
could be neither new investments nor the resumption of 
enterprises under way in 1893. 

Banks failed in the period of depression, and with them 
went railroads, manufacturers, and merchants. Financial 
sobriety was the rule in Cleveland's second administration, 
while the Populists were clamoring for the salvation of 
mankind through the issuance of more cheap money. The 
Western farmers who were the mainstay of Populism weak- 
ened in their support when large harvests in 1896 coincided 


with a strong market for their grain. The farmer who was 
out of debt had little desire for repudiation or inflation. 
The prosperity that the Republican organizers promised 
was visible even before the first election of McKinley, and 
was rampant long before his second nomination. The 
dinner pail of labor was full, so full indeed that the indus- 
trial difficulties that existed everywhere failed to make 
a deep impression on the minds of voters. 

A revival of the trust movement accompanied the nevi 
prosperity. The economies due to concentration in control, 
standardizing of goods, and the elimination of The new 
overhead charges, made it profitable for indus- ^^^^ 
try to combine on a large scale, as it emerged from the 
stagnant conditions of the middle nineties. The union 
movement in the field of labor was developed at the same 
time. In the universities economists began with a new in- 
tentness to study the fundamental processes of business. 
The inauguration of one of the economists, Arthur Twining 
Hadley, as president of Yale in 1899, broke a long tradition 
of theological presidencies and emphasized the connection 
between education and modem life. The romancers felt 
the spell of the new movement. Bellamy in 1888 had pub- 
lished Looking Backward, his vision of the state socialism 
that he believed to be impending. H. G. Wells brought 
out, in 1899, When the Sleeper Wakes , and foretold a society 
entirely dominated by organized finance. Congress in 1898 
appointed an industrial commission whose nineteen vol- 
umes of report and hearings show the tendencies of business 
at the close of the nineteenth century. In the fall of 1899 
representatives of business and government met with pro- 
fessional students of economics in the Chicago conference 
on trusts, to consider the nature of the problem and the 
methods of controlling it. The Socialist Party, organ- 
ized at Indianapolis through the fusion of minor groups, 
launched its specific theory for the reorganization of society, 
and nominated a labor leader, Eugene V. Debs, for Presi- 
dent in March, 1900. 

The presidential election of 1900 came upon a country 


inspired by its new prosperity, controlled by a dominant 
party organization that was founded upon that prosperity, 
conscious of the approach of the new relationship with the 
rest of the world, and recognizing a need for the read- 
justment of social relationships. The preliminaries of the 
campaign were offered by the minor parties as they strove 
to state their issues and attract attention. The Socialist 
nomination aroused less interest than the last struggles of 
the Populists. 

'*The first of America's Populists was Daniel Shays," 
said Leslie's in the sununer of 1900 ; "the last of them will be 
Decline of Wharton Barker and Ignatius Donnelly." The 
populism movement of discontent that rolled up the ac- 
cumulated grievances of the later eighties and polled over 
a million votes in 1892 had lost its chance to maintain an 
independent existence when it concurred in the Democratic 
nomination of Bryan in 1896. It lost both its organization 
and its following. The "middle-of-the-road" Populists 
struggled stubbornly for an independent existence, but in 
vain. **The peuty is gone past redemption," wrote one of 
its disheartened chairmen, in September, 1900. Its prin- 
ciples were in a way of acceptance by the larger parties, but 
free silver had lost its appeal upon the masses that had 
demanded it in 1896. 

The Democratic Party, meeting in national convention 
at Kansas City on July 4, 1900, found no difficulty in re- 
Renomina- taining the ascendancy it established over the 
tionof Populists in 1896. The convention shouted 

^^^ manfully for ex-Senator David B. Hill, Demo- 

cratic boss of New York, whom Piatt had driven from the 
Senate, but it voted for Bryan. E. L. Godkin in moments 
of despondency recognized his established leadership in the 
party, though looking upon him as **a medicine which the 
country will probably have to take some day." The gold 
Democratic organization that had been formed by the 
Administration leaders in 1896 had faded to an empty 
shadow. The only serious problem which confronted the 
Democratic Convention was the relative stress to be 


placed upon the old and weakening issue of free silver, and 
the new and rising principle of anti-imperialism. In the 
end the platform stood for both, and Bryan, declining to 
recognize that free silver had ceased to be the dominant 
issue, destroyed whatever hopes there might have been of 
a successful fight against imperialism. His speech of ac- 
ceptance, made at Indianapolis in August, was devoted 
chiefly to imperialism, and served as a textbook to the 
anti-imperialists throughout the canvass. 

There was as little uncertainty over the presidential can- 
didate in the Republican Party as in the Democratic. 
William McKinley had no considerable oppo- McKinlcy 
sition to fight. There were some murmurings and 
against him among those who had supported 
the clainis of Thomas B. Reed in 1896, and who believed 
that his Government was too closely identified with the 
conservation of business. But the murmurings were hope- 
less against a candidate who stood well with Congress, was 
popular with the people, and whose strength was intensified 
by the glamour of things done in war and still doing in the 
rehabilitation of Cuba. At the Philadelphia Convention, 
which met on June 19, the Republican National Committee 
under Senator Hanna was in command of the presidential 

In the case of the Republican vice-presidency there was 
difference of desires. Garrett A. Hobart, of New Jersey, 
McKinley's first Vice-President, had been a genuine asset 
to the Administration, but had died in office. The desires 
of the President and Senator Hanna for a successor who 
should work harmoniously with the Administration led them 
first to Elihu Root, who declined to be drawn away from his 
reorganization of the War Department. Root had been 
summoned to this in the summer of 1899, when McKinley 
yielded to external pressure and called for the resignation of 
Secretary Alger. After Root, John D. Long seems to have 
been the Administration's choice, but the movement for 
Long was stopped by the appearance of a spontaneous 
demand from the body of the party. 


*' I hope you will not allow the convention to be stam- 
peded to Roosevelt for Vice-President," said McKinley 
(as quoted by Senator Foraker). The repute of Roose- 
velt, rising continuously since his election as governor of 
New York, threatened to upset the well-balanced party 
machine. Some Republicans had even talked of discard- 
ing McKinley in his favor, and Roosevelt had begun to 
consider the distribution of patronage, should this occur. 
He had not been among the McKinley supporters of 1896, 
and his willing leadership among the critics of the War 
Department in front of Santiago had created a personal 
unwillingness to have him on the ticket. Governor Roose- 
velt agreed in substance with McKinley on this point. " I 
should like to be governor for another term,** he wrote to 
Senator Piatt. *'The Vice-Presidency is not ... an office 
in which a man who is still vigorous and not past middle 
life has much chance of doing anything." 

The denials of Governor Roosevelt that he was a candi- 
date for the vice-presidency were repeated at frequent in- 
tervals during the spring of 1900, but failed to check the 
popular desire for his services. This popularity fell in 
well with the personal wishes of party leaders in Pennsyl- 
vania and New York. Quay, just refused his seat in the 
Senate by a majority that included Senator Hanna, was 
not averse to embarrassing the party organization that 
had allowed him to be humiliated. Piatt in New York 
had managed to maintain harmonious public relationships 
with the governor, but was willing to back him as a can- 
didate for almost any position outside of New York. Dur- 
ing the days of the convention Colonel Roosevelt was in 
Philadelphia at the head of the New York delegation, wear- 
ing his campaign hat, visiting the headquarters of the other 
State delegations in turn, and noisily protesting his un- 
willingness to be sacrificed as Vice-President. From the 
records available in the biographies of Hay, Foraker, and 
McKinley, it seems that the reluctance to be Vice-President 
was mingled with a willingness to show McKinley that he 
could be Vice-President if he so desired. A private wire to 


the White House carried the story of the Roosevelt boom» 
and at the end the Administration bowed as gracefully as 
could be to the unanimous will of the party. 

During the ensuing canvass President McKinley adhered 
to the tactics that he had followed in the previous cam- 
paign. He maintained the dignity and poise suitable to 
his own character and becoming, according to past prec- 
edent, in the presidency. Bryan took to the stump as 
usual, but this time he aroused no fears in the hearts of his 
opponents, and he was trailed back and forth across the 
continent by as good a campaigner as himself. The Na- 
tional Committee made Colonel Roosevelt speak more than 
three hundred times during the canvass. In the heart of 
Populism in Denver he denounced free silver, and every- 
where he inspired the hopes of those who were longing for a 
higher level in party politics. 

Public opinion was badly split by the old issue and the 
new. The problem of imperialism cut across the bound- 
aries that divided the free-silver advocates PubUcopin- 
from those of the gold standard. Until late ion and 

tnc issues 

in the campaign a group of distinguished gold- 
standard anti-imperialists wavered before the choice of 
evils. Many of them, believing that imperialism was more 
closely connected with the future of democracy than any 
currency controversy, voted for Bryan ; but these were more 
than offset by the gains of the Republican Party due to the 
prestige that came from a successful and prosperous ad- 
ministration. As the canvass advanced the argument of 
the full dinner pail increased its grip upon the average 
voter. On election day the prosperity that had been 
promised in McKinley 's first campaign secured a decisive 
victory for him in his second. 

The winter of 1900, with the presidency settled, with all 
fears of repudiation expelled, and with four more years of 
administrative continuity assured, has had no equal among 
periods of industrial confidence. Both capital and labor 
looked forward to a future of unchecked development, and 
the organizations of both the trusts and the unions were 


increased in size and projected further throughout the peo- 
ple. The feeling of assurance pervading the country was 
partly based upon the absence of any disturbing national 
program. The two things for which the Republican 
Party had perfected its organization in 1896 had been ac- 
complished. The Dingley tariff of 1897 was producing an 
abundant revenue. The gold standard had been pro- 
claimed as the official basis of national commerce. No 
great legislative programs involving fundamental change 
were pending. The national need for a canal at Panama 
was within reach of gratification. The defects in adminis- 
trative! organization that the Spanish War had disclosed 
were in process of correction under the wise control of 
Elihu Root. John Hay was extending American ideals of 
fair play across the Pacific. 

The inaugural ceremony of March 4, 1901, was the most 
imposing ceremonial of its kind that had been seen, but 
lacked significance as a public event. The Cabinet of Mc- 
Kinley needed no reorganization and received none. The 
second term seemed likely to inspire only the uninteresting 
annals of a happy people. This happiness was increased 
when toward the end of March the insurgent leader Agui- 
naldo was taken prisoner, bringing the Philippine revolt so 
nearly to an end that it was possible to think of establishing 
civil government in the islands. 

The assassination of McKinley at Buffalo in September, 
1901 , destroyed this certainty at a single stroke. It brought 
^^gg^ggi^^. into the presidency on September 14 a new per- 
^n of sonality that spoke for a later generation and a 

*" ^^ different era. It removed the basis for the rigid 
political organization of which Senator Hanna was the chief 
engineer, and opened the way for aspiring politicians in 
the Middle West to push upon the party councils their 
demands that a program of national and social betterment 
be formulated and adopted. 



The formal documents upon the campaign of 1900 are to be found In 
Edward Stanwood, History of the Presidency, iSq^-iqoq (1912), which is as 
invaluable as his earlier volume. Many personal details are preserved in 
Thayer's Life and Letters of John Hay, Olcott's William McKinley, and 
J. B. Foraker's N/>tes of a Busy Life, William J. Bryan, in The Second Bat- 
tle (1900), gives an autobiographic account of the struggle, which may be 
supplemented by that in Tom L. Johnson's Own Story, and Brand Whit- 
lock's Forty Years of It. Cara Lloyd's Biography of Henry Demarest Lloyd 
gives the best picture of the way in which the hopes of the social reformers 
who had worked with the Populist Party went aglimmering when Populism 
was absorbed by Democracy. The autobiography of Robert M. La Toi- 
lette contains testimony upon the movement within the Republican Party 
to salvage what was good in Populism. The Report of the United States 
Industrial Commission is packed with testimony upon the new industrial 
society, while the technical articles in the Quarterly Journal of Economics^ 
the Political Science Quarterly, the Annals of the American Academy, and 
the Journal of Political Economy, indicate at once the nature of new 
problems, and the new standards of economic scholarship. 



Theodore Roosevelt was not yet forty-three years of 
age when he took his oath as President on September 14, 
1901, but he had behind him already nearly twenty years of 
prominent political life. In personal appearance and be- 
havior he still showed the jubilance and enthusiasm of 
youth, but in experience of affairs and political sagacity 
he was as old as most of his seniors in the party. His origin, 
and his career thus far, were as unusual in American poli- 
tics as the remaining eighteen years of his life were to be. 

Bom in 1858, his infancy was passed during the Admin- 
istration of the self-made rail-splitter, Abraham Lincoln. 
Youth of He left Harvard College as his party was elect- 
Rooeevdt jj^g Garfield and glorying in the fact that the 
candidate had begun his life upon the towpath. The self- 
made man, bom in the cabin, and ripening in the full op- 
portunity of American democracy was still the type Ameri- 
can. Roosevelt had none of this in his experience. He 
wte bom in affluence, educated in a social group whose posi- 
tion had been secure for generations, and he was launched 
into life free to determine for himself whether he would 
make money or leave behind him a career of accomplish- 
ment in public work. 

In the fall of 1881, "finding it would not interfere much 
with my law" Roosevelt accepted a nomination to the New 
Early polit- York Assembly, and described himself as "a 
ical career 'political hack.' " At no time thereafter was he 
ever really out of politics, and at every stage his name was 
identified with the advance of self-government. Three 
years as a young man in the New York Assembly made him 
a national figure — "a light-footed, agile, nervous, yet 
prompt boy, with light-brown, slightly curling hair, blue 
eyes and an eye-glass, and ready to rise and speak with a 


clear, sharp, boyish voice." He had already shown a ca- 
pacity to oppose the short-haired, noisy toughs of Tam- 
many with an equally short-haired and noisy virtue. Be- 
fore he was thirty, when there was talk of having his party 
silence him, the professionally humorous Puck became seri- 
ous when it remarked that ''silencing is a process which 
requires at least two persons." He led the New York dele- 
gation to the National Republican Convention in 1884, and 
was equally true to his standards when he opposed the nom- 
ination of Blaine and when he supported the party ticket 
through the canvass. His later career as Civil Service 
Commissioner brought him for six years into the inner 
circle of Washington life, and made an uninspiring and ex- 
perimental national office a center of activity for better 
government. His next two years as Police Commissioner 
in New York City gave a new range to his knowledge of 
society, and his return to Washington in 1897 as Assistant 
Secretary of the Navy brought him new opportunities for 
action. He was at once a reformer and a party man, laying 
down his platform at the beginning of his career: ''A man 
cannot act both without and within the party; he can do 
either, but he cannot possibly do both." 

The political experience of the new President was broader 
than his age indicated, and bore little resemblance to that 
of any earlier President. On the other sides of other 
his life he was equally different. He was a sue- acuviues 
cessful man of letters, a painstaking amateur scientist, and 
a lover of the world of sport. In the field of letters, he had 
begun to write immediately upon leaving college, expressing 
himself in works of history and the records of his outdoor 
experiences. His Naval War of 1812 and his Winning of 
the West made him the equal of any contemporary Ameri- 
can historian of his age. His Hunting Trips of a Ranchman 
was an early number in a series that was to carry him even- 
tually to the heart of Africa and to the Brazilian River of 

The outdoor life of Roosevelt reclaimed him from a weak 
childhood and made him a rugged man. As President he 


shocked many of his conventional associates by inviting 
prize-fighters to the White House and openly enjoying the 
opportunity to box and wrestle with them. He subse- 
quently paid for this devotion with the loss of one of his 
eyes, a loss that he could ill afford, for his eyes were always 
weak, as his ever-present spectacles bore witness. As a 
naturalist he observed both broadly and accurately, and 
had begun to pick as his friends men whose interests in 
science and the world outdoors could run with his. As a 
charter member of the Boone and Crockett Club that was 
formed in 1887 h^ paid his tribute to the romance of big 
game, and tempered his zest as a sportsman with a regard 
for wild life as a science. The legend of the presidency in 
frock coat, silk hat, and impenetrable dignity was to be 
turned upon another course. 

When the oath of office was administered to President 
Roosevelt he immediately announced that it would be his 
''aim to continue absolutely unbroken the policies of Presi- 
dent McKinley for the peace, prosperity, and honor of our 
beloved country." He urged the members of the Cabinet 
to retain their positions under him, and took up the busi- 
ness on the President's desk with celerity, decision, and 
confidence in his subordinates. 

It was nevertheless the turning-point between two eras. 
The Republican Party had fulfilled its purpose, and was 
Two politi- not yet pledged to the elements of any new pro- 
caleras gram. Before McKinley died the Supreme 

Court had upheld the constitutionality of the Foraker Act, 
and the colonial government depending upon it. The gold 
standard was established, and a protective tariff was bring- 
ing in adequate revenue from a prosperous country. The 
next few years under any President must have meant a 
reshaping of party organization and an accommodation to 
the new issues that were locally appearing. Under Roose- 
velt it took a course unbelievable had McKinley lived. 

Two theories of representation have struggled to control 
in the Government of the United States, and these two 
theories met in the administrations which ended and began 


on September 14, 1901. According to one of the theories, 
for which there is no better example than President Mc- 
Kinley, the will of the people is entitled to instant trans- 
lation into action when it has manifested itself. It was 
easy for men who had been Republicans during the Civil 
War to believe that the party was always right, and that 
it possessed a monopoly of virtue and patriotism. The 
natural consequence of this belief was straight party loy- 
alty with an almost complete unwillingness to scratch the 
party ticket. With this went a strong tendency to be 
convinced of the correctness of any course toward which 
the majority was tending or any view which it espoused. 
When . President McKinley shifted with the opinion of his 
party from a tolerance of free silver to an insistent advo- 
cacy of the gold standard, he illustrated this tendency. 
His honest sincerity was without question, and his reverence 
for the party was supreme. When on April 11, 1898, he 
turned the Spanish situation over to Congress, after he had 
struggled against an entry into war, which he still deplored, 
he again acted on the theory that the will of the party is 
the highest law. 

The other theory of representation places its emphasis 
upon the fact that during his period of office it is the duty 
of the representative to act in behalf of his constituents. 
Placed in a position where his knowledge of the facts of 
government is superior to that of any other citizen, this 
theory holds that the representative has no right to be 
guided by their clamor, but must shape his course as 
trustee according to the facts, and stand or fall upon his 
success in leading his constituents to follow him. The one 
theory in the hands of shifty politicians leads to the career 
of a demagogue or to abuse of office; the other tends to 
develop the personal side of government and the high 
responsibility of the administrator. 

The significance of the change in Presidents as the 
turning-point in history was apparent as President Roose- 
velt began to indicate his own attitude on public questions 
without waiting to ascertain whether the party orRani- 


zation or the people were in agreement with him. He as- 
sumed the duty of positive leadership as Andrew Jackson 
had assumed it, and as Hayes and Cleveland had tried to 
do it. The President in his administration took a new- 
place in the structure of the party and in the nation. 

The position of the President in the party organization 
has varied according to issues and personalities. By the 
The office close of the Civil War the standard type of 
of President party organization had been evolved. A na- 
tional party had come to mean the group of citizens who 
were likely to vote together in a national election. Each 
party once in four years met in full session through its repre- 
sentatives in the national nominating convention. Here 
for four or five days delegates fresh from the body of the 
voters canvassed their party issues and the personalities of 
leadership. The last ordinary act of a national convention 
was, and still is, to receive from the delegation of every 
State its nomination of a member to sit upon the National 
Committee which during the four-year interval acted as a 
sort of trustee for the party interests. The chairman 
chosen by this National Committee was the tactical com- 
mander-in-chief of the campaign. 

The relations of the candidate to the National Com- 
mittee and its chairman shifted during the period 1896 to 
The Na- ^9^4- Throughout the half-dozen campaigns at 
tional the end of the last century the national chairman 

really ran the party. In the Hayes campaign he 
seems not to have been on speaking terms with the candi- 
date; and the national committeemen who could control 
their regular reelection from their States came to regard 
themselves as constituting the real party, and looked upon 
a President's attempt to assert himself as insubordination 
and trespass. 

In the later eighties the custom arose of deferring the 
selection of chairman until the candidate had had a chance 
Hanna and to express his wishes. Hanna, as McKinley's 
Roosevelt manager, was a natural choice as chairman of 
the National Committee, and brought that post into a 


position of great influence. One of the first practical 
questions for President Roosevelt was that of determining 
his relations with the chairman whom he found in office. 
Roosevelt had never been a supporter of McKinley, and 
both he and Hanna knew that the latter had wished 
to keep him off the ticket in 1900. Both were too well 
seasoned as campaigners to fight without need, but both 
were aware of the impending struggle in the party for 
control. Their differences were political, not personal. 
The Washington correspondents soon reported the zest; 
with which the President ate Sunday breakfasts with 
'* Uncle Mark*' at his home in the Cameron house on 
LaFayette Square, but no one expected the position of 
leadership, assumed by the national chairman, to last long 
without a struggle. The President was somewhat nervous 
as to the outcome, but did not evade the issue. When in 
1902 the friends of Hanna in Ohio were reluctant to en- 
dorse Roosevelt for another term, the President stated the 
matter bluntly as a leader: *' Those who favor my adminis- 
tration and nomination will endorse them, and those who 
do not will oppose them." Since the canvass of 1900 the 
relative position of the national chairman has steadily 
declined from commander-in-chief to cljief of staff, and 
thence to political secretary for the candidate. The 
President has tended to become the responsible leader of 
his party. 

The political situation in 190 1 was full of opportunity for 
a President who was willing to assume responsibility, and 
whose party possessed a perfected working or- Booker T. 
ganization, but lacked a specific platform for Washing^ton 
the future. On the day of his accession Roosevelt wrote to 
Booker T. Washington, at Tuskegee, inviting him to come 
to Washington to consult upon Republican appointments 
in the South . The desire to undermine the one-party system 
of the South had been the ambition of earlier Republican 
Presidents, and is still their hope. With Roosevelt it led to 
an attempt to improve the personnel of federal office-holders 
in Democratic States. It led also to an unforeseen attack. 


Dr. Washington, the ablest negro educator of his day, 
came to Washington to see the President in October, 1901. 
When their business outlasted the morning hours the Pres- 
ident kept him at the White House for luncheon, a fact 
which scandalized opinion in the South, and made it more 
difficult for Roosevelt to carry out his policy of breaking 
down the barriers. It was long before this luncheon was 
forgotten; but the Roosevelt policy of bringing to the 
White House any citizens who could be of use to the 
President, or who interested him, was established for the 
next eight years. The powerful zest for life that made 
Roosevelt an historian and a naturalist as well as a states- 
man, at the age of forty, led him to bring within his circle 
all sorts and conditions of guests. The White House be- 
came the center of a charmed circle where the President 
talked freely to all of the intimacies of politics and diplo- 
macy, and kept his interests alive by bringing to his table 
the world that he could no longer easily visit. 

The prosperous winter of 1900-01 was marked by huge 
extension of corporation activities, and acute struggles be- 
Labor tween capital and labor. Only an obtuse mind 

problems could have ignored the fact that the nation was 
speedily to be involved one way or another in the contro- 
versy. The changes in corporate organization were dis- 
turbing to the minds of many, but the inconveniences due 
to strikes affected the disposition of perhaps larger numbers. 

The last pronounced period of strikes had been associated 
with the panic of 1893. The Homestead strike that pre- 
ceded the panic, the Pullman strike that followed it, and 
the violent miners* strike at Cripple Creek had been par- 
tially forgotten in the years of depression when labor was 
too keen to get a job to cavil at its terms. The new pros- 
perity brought pressure upon production in the basic in- 
dustries and revived the social conditions in which organ- 
ized labor can flourish. The United Mine Workers of 
America, calling out 150,000 anthracite miners in eastern 
Pennsylvania, opened a new period of economic clash. 

The organization of the miners had lagged behind that of 


other industries.because of the transitory character of much 
of the labor and the high percentage of unskilled foreigners 
involved. The last upheavals in the coal regions, in which 
the *' Molly Maguires " carried out their reign of terror, long 
delayed any successful attempt to bring the coal miners to- 
gether. John Mitchell took charge of the strike in the an- 
thracite region, announced a limited series of demands, and 
maintained a discipline over his followers unusual in labor 
controversies. He kept his men sober, he dissuaded them 
from congregating in public places, established friendly 
relations with public opinion, and secured useful political 

Senator Hanna, who was then managing the Republican 
campaign, had good reason to be anxious for industrial 
peace. The argument of the full dinner pail would have 
lost its force if a great strike were being fought in a basic 
industry upon election day. Political pressure was brought 
upon the owners, who yielded in October, with the result 
that the United Mine Workers of America acquired the 
great prestige of a successful strike, and John Mitchell was 
enabled to proceed to the speedy organization of all of the 
mining region. It was common supposition that there 
would be another and larger strike before long, with the 
recognition of the union as its dominant issue. 

In the following summer the steel industry was threat- 
ened with an upset that might interfere with the whole 
course of industrial expansion. The Amalgamated Asso- 
ciation of Iron and Steel Workers that had fought and lost 
the Homestead strike in 1892 had been reorganized after 
the panic. It prepared in the summer of 1901 to strike 
chiefly for the recognition of the union, and received the 
promise of moral support from the American Federation of 
Labor of which Samuel Gompers had long been chief. The 
strike began in the first week of August and collapsed after 
a month. The steel industries that were involved met it 
in many cases by the relatively simple process of trans- 
ferring the contracts affected by the strike to remote mills 
not affected or not unionized. 


Two symptoms were revealed by these two strikes. The 
first indicated that it was possible for a labor body if well 
organized and discreetly managed to gain the sympathy of 
the public and to win its case. The other revealed the fact 
that in at least one great industry centralization had pro- 
ceeded so far that labor had no chance against corporate 
organization. The United States Steel Corporation that 
had nullified the desires of this second Homestead strike 
was in itself a newrbom organization and had been in 
existence but a few months. The opinion of the public 
was attracted by both of these facts. The coal strike had 
not proceeded far enough for public inconvenience to over- 
balance interest in the strikers* cause. The tactical 
strength of the Steel Corporation was a matter of some 
alarm. At least two issues were ready for presentation in 
the party councils. 


The numerous biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, written during his 
life, are necessarily inadequate and lack the full documentation available 
in Joseph B. Bishop, Theodore Roosevelt and his Time Shawn in his own 
Letters (1920), in the preparation of which Colonel Roosevelt himself 
collaborated. The best brief work is William Roscoe Thayer, Theodore 
Roosevelt: An Intimate Biography (19 19). Other biographies, of varying 
degrees of incompleteness and laudation, are Charles G. Washburn, Theo- 
dore Roosevelt, the Logic of His Career (19 16); Francis E. Leupp, The Man 
Roosevelt (1904); Jacob A. Riis, Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen (1904); 
Lawrence F. Abbott, Impressions of Theodore Roosevelt (19 19); William 
Draper Lewis, Life of Theodore Roosevelt (1919); Albert Shaw, A Cartoon 
History of Roosevelt's Career (1910): and John J. Leary, Talks with T. R. 
(1920). E. J. Scott and L. B. Stowe, Booker T. Washington, Builder of a 
Civilization (1916), is of interest. Albert Bushnell Hart, Foundations of 
American Foreign Policy (1901), is contemporary evidence upon the new 
American interests abroad. John H. Latan^, America as a World Power 
(1907), gives a good running narrative. Croly's Marcus Alonzo Hanna: 
His Life and Work, and Thayer's Life and Letters of John Hay continue 
of great value. 



In the internal affairs of the Administration President 
Roosevelt was little hampered by policies that had been 
established by his predecessor. He found diffi- Hay and 
culties because the business connections and ^^^ 
preferences of members of the Republican Party made it 
easier to go in some directions than in others, but the 
selection of a final policy was his own. In his foreign re- 
lationships he inherited two great secretaries and a group 
of well-established principles to which he gave consistent 
support. Hay in the State Department and Root in the 
War Department were well entered upon their tasks before 
McKinley died, and remained to work them out. 

John Hay began his term as Secretary of State in time to 
carry on the correspondence with the peace commissioners 
in Paris. In his first few weeks the decision was made that 
led to the retention of the Philippines and the acceptance 
of the share of the *' white man's burden" entailed thereby. 
In the earliest correspondence with the peace commissioners 
while this policy was still undetermined, the principle upon 
which the United States proposed to act was laid down. 
Whether Luzon alone was to be retained or the whole archi- 
pelago, the islands were to be administered without pecul- 
iar advantages to the United States, upon the principle of 
the "open door.'* This principle was novel in the Orient, 
where China was falling to pieces and great European 
powers were eagerly acquiring national concessions and 
special spheres of influence. Germany at Kiau-chau, 
England at Wei-Hai-Wei, Russia at Port Arthur, had all 
since the close of the China- Japanese War in 1895 exercised 
a privilege that they denied Japan, the victor in that war. 

The conclusion of the Treaty of Paris, and its final rati- 
fication, transferred the affairs of the Philippine Islands to 


the desk of the Secretary of War, but left the United States 
The "open- predisposed to an extension of the doctrine of the 
door" "open door." The early history of American 

DOllCV • 

. relations with China and Japan made this policy 
of disinterestedness a thing to be expected of the American 

The application of the open-door policy to China was 
^made in September, 1899, while the European powers were 
still engaged in the partition of China. The United States 
urged this policy as a matter of fairness to themselves and 
to China, and it was not easy for any other nation to for- 
mulate respectable reasons for rejecting it. In the following 
spring, when Chinese revolutionists, the ''Boxers,'* broke 
into open revolt demanding the extermination of the "for- 
eign devils,*' the sincerity of the policy was brought to test. 
Peking was invested by the rebels, and the foreign embassies 
were cut oflf from the world outside. The United States, 
with a legation in the beleaguered city, became involved 
in the attempts at rescue. The American troops in the 
Philippine Islands made American assistance readily avail- 
able. A joint intervention for the forcible relief of Peking 
was organized at once. 

The ordinary consequence of such interventions in 
Chinese affairs had been the visitation upon China of 
severe national penalties, and the acquisition by the inter- 
vening powers of new and exclusive compensatory rights. 
On July 3, 1900, while General Chaflfee was preparing for 
the actual invasion. Hay issued a circular to the powers 
on the aims of the relief expedition. Whatever concealed 
aspirations any of the interested powers may have had, 
they were forced under cover when the United States 
p)ointed out its understanding that the expedition was for 
the release of the legations and that the doctrine of the 
open door would prevail in the final settlement with China. 
With as good a grace as possible, the cooperating powers 
avowed this benevolent intention to be their own, and it 
became Hay*s mission to hold them to their pledge. Be- 
fore Chaffee had been many days in China he found it 


necessary to transmit a protest to the German general- 
issimo of the expedition, complaining of the German loot- 
ing of the Royal Observatory at Peking. The astronomical 
instruments involved ultimately found themselves upon ped- 
estals in Prussian public places. The differences between 
profession and conduct illustrated thereby gave reality to 
the American task. 

In China the United States operated with a minimum of 
national interest. Nearer at home the effect of the Span- 
ish War had been to precipitate interest in a Panama 
waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Canal 
The idea was ancient, and had been under ac- ^ ™ 
tive negotiation for half a century. The Clayton-Bulwer 
Treaty of 1850, which still governed the relationship of the 
United States and Great Britain to the canal, provided 
that "neither the one nor the other would ever obtain or 
maintain for itself any exclusive control,** or "ever erect 
or maintain any fortifications commanding the same," or 
"occupy or fortify or colonize or assume or exercise any 
dominion" in the immediate vicinity of the waterway. 
When negotiated in 1850 the treaty marked a victory for 
the United States in that it placed a check upon the prob- 
able colonial expansion of England. In the next gener- 
ation the American view of the situation developed. The 
Civil War added to national self-confidence, and when 
President Hayes reached the conclusion that the canal 
must forever be a part of the American shore-line, the 
country had forgotten that the treaty was originally a 
limitation of British power and believed it a curtailment 
of the privileges of the United States. Evarts, Blaine, and 
Frelinghuysen tried in succession and in vain to induce 
England to free the United States from the restrictions laid 
by the treaty. Hay, when he now took the matter up, 
found that Lord Pauncefote represented a more accommo- 
dating government. Early in 1900 he negotiated a treaty 
whereby the obstacles to construction by the United 
States Government were eliminated and the canal, to 
which the principle of the open door was applied, was given 


the status of guaranteed neutrality. To his great chagrin 
the United States Senate was insistent upon making the 
canal an exclusive advantage and amended the treaty to 

President Roosevelt found the canal business at a stand- 
still, but resumed the negotiation in an attempt to solve 
it on a basis acceptable to the Senate. The British Gov- 
ernment, still accommodating, showed no disposition to 
encroach upon the indefinite area covered by the Monroe 
Doctrine, and Lord Pauncefote signed, on November i8, 
1 90 1, a second treaty which the Senate immediately ap- 
proved. Every British claim to interest in the region of 
the canal was surrendered, with the jingle exception that 
the canal should be open without discrimination to the 
vessels of all nations observing the rules prescribed for its 
use. The United States made a unilateral guarantee of the 
neutrality of the canal, and was left entirely free to select its 
own means for its maintenance. 

Before Hay had succeeded in procuring a promise of 
cooperation from the owner of the territory upon which the 
Venezuela canal was to be dug, new problems of national 
intervention control in its vicinity produced a sharp appeal 
to the principles of the Monroe Doctrine. On December 
20, 1902, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy joined in a 
blockade of the ports of Venezuela, after denying that a 
state of war existed. The claims upon which the three 
powers were acting were such as always exist against the 
uncertain Latin republics. A train of successful revolu- 
tions in Venezuela had produced numerous valid claims for 
damages against that Government, and an atmosphere 
in which fraudulent and inflated claims could flourish. 
After long and futile attempts at satisfaction from Vene- 
zuela, the three countries whose subjects owned many of 
the claims had recourse to force, having previously satis- 
fied themselves that President Roosevelt did not interpret 
the Monroe Doctrine as guaranteeing any nation against 
punishment for misconduct. The first attempt of the 
intervening powers was to maintain a "pacific blockade/' 


exercising belligerent rights, although denying that a war 
existed. The American Government refused to pay any at- 
tention to such a limited act, whereupon, on December 20, 
the blockade was made regular and complete. 

Although the intervention professed to have in view only 
the collection of debts. President Roosevelt regarded it as 
an attempt on the part of Germany to test the firmness of 
the United States with reference to the Monroe Doctrine, 
and the degree to which it would be safe to imdertake a 
policy of South American expansion. He determined to 
force the controversy to adjudication at The Hs^ue. Here 
in the conference of 1899 the United States had assumed an 
active leadership in the formation of a tribunal for the 
voluntary settlement of international disputes. Few cases 
had been brought to The Hague. The suggestion of the 
President that this controversy was suitable for such ad- 
judication produced no action at Berlin until the whole 
American fleet under Admiral Dewey was assembled for 
maneuvers in the Caribbean Sea, and von HoUeben, the 
German Ambassador, was bluntly informed that the 
United States would intervene to defend Venezuela unless 
arbitration were accepted. The President consented to 
write a friendly note to the Kaiser, praising his activity in 
behalf of peace, in case such arbitration were requested. 
The note was ultimately written. The Kaiser yielded, 
but von Holleben was replaced by Baron Speck von Stern-, 
berg, who as an old and intimate friend of Roosevelt might 
be expected to get better results at Washington, and the 
arbitration proceeded. At the time, the public was un- 
aware of the nearness of this breach with Germany, as it 
was unaware of the movements launched in the same pe- 
riod for welding Germans in America into an organized 
and usable body devoted to the culture of the Fatherland. 
The visit of Prince Henry of Prussia early in 1902 and the 
development of the National German-American Alliance 
were fragments in this new policy. 

While Hay was at work in the State Department estab- 
lishing the new relationships which war had brought upon 


the United States, Root in the War Department took over 
the administration of the American colonies and the re- 
organization of the military establishment. 

Porto Rico came under American control as spiritlessly 
as it had lived under Spain. The military government 
Govern- found no difficulty in establishing authority, 
mcnt of and in April, 1900, President McKinley signed 
the Foraker Act under which Charles H. Allen 
was installed as the first civil governor of the island. The 
revenues of the island were for a time enhanced by customs 
duties collected on American trade to the extent of fifteen 
per cent of the Dingley tariff rates. This apparent viola- 
tion of the constitutional guarantee of unimpeded trade 
within the United States gave rise to the Supreme Court 
cases DeLima vs. Bidwell, and Downes vs. Bidwell, in con- 
nection with which the insular policy was upheld. After 
1901 free trade with Porto Rico was established. 

Cuba became the scene of an unusual international ex- 
periment. By the Treaty of Paris the Spanish title was 
Cuban in- entirely relinquished, and by the ultimatum 
dependence ^j^^ United States had already pledged itself 
to secure independence for the Cubans. The volunteer 
armies were withdrawn from Cuba in the autumn of 1898, 
leaving behind them a garrison composed chiefly of regular 
troops. The commanding officer of the military division of 
.Cuba acted slso as governor of the civil population. Among 
the tasks confronting him two were most imperative. The 
sanitary rehabilitation of the island was necessary if Ameri- 
cans were to live there, and the creation of civil institutions 
was indispensable before they could depart. Late in 1899 
Leonard Wood, by this time a major-general of volunteers, 
and soon to be given a similar rank in the regular establish- 
ment, succeeded General Brooke in command of the island. 
He had previously been in command of the province of 
Santiago, and had encouraged there the experiments that 
finally placed yellow fever on the list of preventable 
scourges. As soon as it was discovered that the disease 
was transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, it 


became possible to isolate the patients, eradicate the 
mosquito, and make yellow fever unnecessary. William 
C. Gorgas, later surgeon-general of the army, rose to de- 
served prominence in this work. 

The organization of civil government was well advanced 
before McKinley died. A constitutional convention was 
convened at Havana, in November, 1900. It proceeded 
under the direction of General Wood to draft the basic law 
which was shortly adopted by the people. On May 20, 
1902, the first Cuban President was installed under his own 
flag, and the American troops were withdrawn. Cuba 
came into possession of an independence limited only by 
restrictions against self-destruction and an American guar- 
antee of law and order. 

Civil government in the Philippine Islands was delayed 
by the insurrection of Aguinaldo that broke out on Feb- 
ruary 4, 1899, and that ran its course imtil The 
Aguinaldo was taken prisoner by Frederick Philippines 
Funston in March, 1901. A few days later the insurgent 
leader took an oath of allegiance to the United States, 
which he continued to respect;, and it became possible to 
lessen the military force and to begin the process of trans- 
ferring political authority to the Filipinos. An early com- 
mission for the study of Philippine affairs under President 
Schurman, of Cornell, was in operation during 1899, adding 
greatly to the scanty knowledge of the new domain. In 
April, 1900, when the Administration desired that peace 
might be established before election day, a second com- 
mission was created under the presidency of Judge William 
Howard Taft, of Cincinnati. During the next year this 
commission studied and visited the islands and laid its 
plans for the inauguration of a civil government. On more 
than one occasion the difference in point of view between 
General MacArthur, who as military commander in the 
islands was trying to put down insurrection, and Judge 
Taft, whose duties were distinctly civilian, became so 
pointed that they could be resolved only by Secretary Root 
or President McKinley himself. On July 4, 1901, Judge 


Taft was installed as civil governor at Manila, but it still 
required special executive action to lodge him in the local 
seat of authority, the old royal palace of Mindanao, and to 
get the military commander out. Under his direction as 
civil governor peace was extended and local self-govern- 
ment was gradually applied. In 1904 Judge Taft was re- 
called to Washington to succeed Root as Secretary of War, 
but in 1907 he was able to fulfill his promise to the Fili- 
pinos, and return to Manila to install the first legislative 
assembly of the islands. 

Before Root turned over the War Department to Judge 
Taft he had completed a drastic program of internal re- 
Reorganiza- Organization. One of his successors, in 191 2, 
tion of War declared that *' until after the Spanish War there 

Department . . . ...^ . i «• i 

was no provision m our military establishment 
for anybody whose duty it should be to study the organi- 
zation of the army or to make plans for it." In 1886 Secre- 
tary Endicott had declared, "When a second lieutenant 
enters the service . . . the rigid examination ... is made the 
necessary condition for the commission, but this once 
passed . . . the officer can, and but too frequently does, 
close his books and his studies; and if he does not overwork 
or expose himself ... he is certain, under the operation of 
compulsory retirement, to reach the highest grade open to 
seniority in his arm of the service." In his first annual 
report in 1899 Root urged upon Congress a reorganization 
of the militia, since no one expected that the regulars 
would ever fight alone, and a reorganization of the regulars 
to provide for the better training of officers and the prep- 
aration of war plans. Congress was induced to respond 
with laws carrying both appropriations and legal author- 
ity. On November 27, 1901, the Army War College was 
opened in Washington under the presidency of Tasker H. 
Bliss, as a post-graduate school for officers, and a little later 
Congress provided the funds for the stately building on the 
lower Potomac, whose terrace William II subsequently 
adorned with an heroic statue of his ancestor, Frederick the 


At Fort Leavenworth, Root revived and enlarged the old 
service schools, and the Staff College for the technical 
training of officers in their professioneil arms of Military 
the service. When a few of the officer students ^^"cation 
detailed to receive this instruction failed to take it seriously, 
their conviction by court martial received the brief com- 
ment of Root, ** I think the duty will be more clearly under- 
stood hereafter." 

The Military Academy at West Point was enlarged to 
make possible the training of the larger number of officers 
required by the slightly enlarged regular army. The re- 
building of its plant on a monumental scale was begun in 
1902, an even century after its creation. **I think," said 
President Roosevelt at the centennial exercises, **it is 
going to be a great deal harder to be a first-class officer in 
the future than it has been in the past." 

Early in 1903 Root's program of military legislation was 
completed by the passage of a new militia act, and the 
creation of a General Staff Corps for the army. General 
On August 8 of that year Nelson A. Miles was ^^^ 
retired as the last of the distinguished series of major- 
generals commanding the army, and was succeeded by the 
General Staff of which General S. B. M. Young became the 
first chief. 

Army reorganization and colonial expansion did not 
draw the attention of the Administration away from the 
need to keep the navy abreast of the times. Only four 
modem battleships had been available in the Spanish War. 
To these, others were added at the rate of one or two a 
year, building up a new fleet of battleships that was be- 
lieved to be adequate until England launched the Dread- 
naught in February, 1906, and opened a new chapter in 
competitive naval armament. Not until the Delaware 
went into commission in 1910 did the United States possess 
one of the newest models, but its fleet of pre-dreadnaught 
battleships had been able to make a memorable demon- 
stration in 1907. The national policy in which these ele- 
ments played their part was a coordinate sgheme, at 



whose head stood Root's administrative work. "The new 
militia law and the General Staff measure," said the Pres- 
ident as he took credit for the series of achievements, "will 
in the end quite transform our military conditions." 


William Roscoe Thayer, Life and Letters of John Hay (1915), is naturally 
rich in information upon this period. W. H. Carter, Life of Lieutenant 
General Chaffee (1917), covers the Chinese expedition, while Theodore 
Roosevelt, An Autobiography (1913), includes new material on the Vene- 
zuela intervention. The two standard works on the Philippines are D. C. 
Worcester, The Philippines, Past and Present (1914), and J. H. Blount, 
The American Occupation of the Philippines (191 2), the latter being sub- 
stantially a brief for the Bryan policy. Mrs. William H. Taft, Recollections 
of Full Years (1914)* is packed with charming detail relating to Adminis- 
tration circles. Other useful works are J. A. LeRoy, The Americans in the 
Philippines (1914); D. R. Williams, The Odyssey of the Philippine Com- 
mission (1913) ; and W. F. Willoughby, Territories and Dependencies of the 
United States (1905). Full reports on insular affairs are in the War De- 
partment Annual Reports, 1 899-1901. Frederick Funston, Memories of 
Two Wars (191 1), has a bearing upon the Philippine insurrection. No 
adequate history of Root's administration of the War Department has 
been written. His annual reports as Secretary should be consulted, as 
well as his Military Organization and Colonial Policy of the United States 



Among the destructive results of the panic of 1893 was the 
bankruptcy of many of the great railroads. These had 
been overbuilt during the preceding decade. Railroad re- 
The railways to the Pacific had been multiplied, organization 
for speculative purposes, beyond any reasonable prospect 
of need, and these new lines collapsed upon themselves as 
business fell away and credit became difficult to obtain. 
There is no clearer indication of reviving prosperity after 
1896 than the systematic emergence of these roads from the 
hands of their receivers, and their reorganization in larger 
systems than had hitherto been known. By 1901 the 
period of reorganization was so well advanced that the 
plight of the railroads became less interesting than the 
effect of their combinations upon public welfare. In Feb- 
ruary, 1901, announcement was made of a merger of South- 
em Pacific lines that went beyond any precedent in rail- 
road finance. 

The Southern Pacific merger was largely the result of the 
financial genius of Edward H. Harriman, whose reputation 
was well established as a builder of roads. It The Harri- 
was founded upon one of his successful recon- ""an system 
structions, by which the Union Pacific system had been 
resuscitated by him after the panic of 1893 and converted 
into a valuable property. 

After the completion of its main line in 1869, the owners 
of the Union Pacific system became aware of the fact that 
their property was not a unit. East of the Great Salt 
Lake the Union Pacific stretched across the plains to 
Council Bluffs, and found itself dependent for its through 
business upon the Central Pacific that ran west from the 
Great Salt Lake to Sacramento Bay. The opportunities of 
the two roads were unequal since the Union Pacific had few 


near affiliations or friends, while the Central Pacific was 
dominated by a group of active California capitalists who 
were equally in control of the network of lines known as the 
Southern Pacific. Lelartd Stanford and CoUis P. Hunting- 
ton were the best known of the group. Their boldness as 
railroad promoters was matched by their skill in securing 
favors from Congress and the Western States. Before 1885 
they were in possession of working agreements over the 
Sante F6 and Texas Pacific roads, as well as their own main 
line through Yuma, El Paso, San Antonio, and Houston to 
New Orleans. 

It was natural that little traffic found its way from the 
Central Pacific to the Union Pacific, if it could as well be 
routed over one of the southern lines. The Union Pacific, 
manipulated by Jay Gould in the eighties, was driven to 
organize a system of dependent lines for itself, and piled up 
a trackage of about seventy-six hundred miles before the 
panic of 1893 flattened it out. When Harriman gained 
control of the Union Pacific after the panic, the system was 
run down, and was reputed to consist of no more than 
two streaks of rust across the plains. He rebuilt the line, 
straightening curves and cutting down the grades, and con- 
structing finally a gigantic causeway across the northern tip 
of the Great Salt Lake. He reassembled the mileage under 
his influence by rental, absorption, or friendly agreement. 

The Southern Pacific system and the reorganized Union 
Pacific covered the whole southwestern quarter of the 
The South- United States. During 1900 it became known 
ern Pacific that the Huntington holdings in the Southern 

Pacific were in the market for sale. Harriman 
saw the opportunity to merge the two railroad empires. 
The purchase was announced in February; the Union 
Pacific borrowed money on a special issue of bonds, and 
with the proceeds of the loan became the owner of its 
former rival. The absorption of more than fifteen thousand 
miles of track under a single management, and subject to 
the control of Harriman, was a big enough fact to fix public 
attention upon the new period of financial concentration. 


The news of the merger of the two Southwestern systems 
had not yet lost its novelty when the New York Stock 
Exchange gave evidence of a mysterious activity in the 
affairs of another continental line, the Northern Pacific. 
Henry Villard had finished this line in 1883. The four 
Territories that it traversed, North Dakota, Montana, 
Idaho, and Washington, became States in 1890-91, but 
their population was too sparse to safeguard the road 
against failure. In its immediate neighborhood it was by 
no means supreme. In the Granger area at its eastern 
end the railroad net of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
served wide areas with local facilities. Its western end 
found itself in direct competition with the new line, the 
Great Northern that James J. Hill pushed through in 
1893. The Great Northern, which paralleled the Northern 
Pacific throughout its whole length, was the result of the 
persistent enterprise of its promoter, who had observed the 
failures of the Northern Pacific, to profit by them. He 
drove his last spike in January, 1893, and eight months 
later the Northern Pacific became insolvent. 

An unexpected activity in Northern Pacific stocks in the 
spring of 1901 suggested that something might be on foot 
respecting these Northern roads, whose dominance in the 
Northwest was as complete as that of the Harriman lines 
over the Southwest. On May 9, 1901, the stock market 
broke under heavy speculation with no Northern Pacific 
stock in sight, and with speculators who had sold it short 
running their offerings up to a thousand dollars per share, 
in vain. The panic was confined largely to professional 
brokers and had no bearing on the general financial strength 
of the country. When the confusion had subsided, it was 
discovered that financial interests behind the Great North- 
em and the Burlington, James J. Hill and J. Pierpont 
Morgan and their associates, had undertaken to pick up a 
control of Northern Pacific at the same time that E. H. 
Harriman had determined to attach it to his Union Pacific 
holdings. The battle of the financial giants added to the 
impression that financial doings were assuming such di- 


mensions as to have a direct though uncertain effect on 
public interests. 

In most of the railroad systems of the country mergers 
were under way that were less startling in magnitude than 
those of the Far West, but resembled them in that the 
financial control involved generally originated not far from 
Wall Street. Industrial combinations had the same tend- 
ency to centralize in New York, and these within the last 
few months had shown the same disposition as the railway 
combinations to grow in size. The Standard Oil Company 
had for more than twenty years been the chief text for 
speakers who decried the trusts. Its habits as a corpo- 
ration had been displayed in the court records of many 
States, and invariably it had been able to meet an industrial 
or a legal rebuff by a new legal or industriail device equally 
effective with the old and at least not yet declared un- 

In the same month in which the Harriman merger was 
announced, the name of Andrew Carnegie threatened to 
Integration ^clipse that of John D. Rockefeller as a pro- 
of the steel moter of monopoly. The United States Steel 

Corporation was launched with an aggregate 
capitalization of eleven hundred million dollars and with a 
clear tendency not only toward consolidation, but toward 
the kind of industriail independence that the railroads were 
working for. Each of the great railroad systems was 
struggling to bring within itself terminal points for its 
heaviest traffic, so as to lessen its dependence upon neigh- 
boring lines and to escape the wastes of competition. Con- 
centration in industry had in the Standard Oil Company 
gone as far as it could. The new Steel Corporation was 
more truly described by the word ** integration.*' 

Most of the classic trusts were concerned with a single 
commodity. They eliminated competition as their output 
increased in volume, and approached more or less nearly 
the total consumption of the country, whether of oil or 
sugar or whiskey or tobacco or any of the other commod- 
ities involved; but each trust as it eliminated its rivals 


in the same industry developed new and equally intense 
rivalry at different points. The producers of its raw 
material, the railways that transported its goods, and the 
buyers that absorbed its output, offered a competition that 
only increased in bitterness as the trust increased in size. 

The trusts of 1901 tried to integrate under their control 
the related processes as well as the terminal associates of the 
industry. In the United States Steel Corporation integra- 
tion was nearly complete. More than two hundred and 
fifty separate companies, using about half of the total ore 
produced in the United States, were brought together. The 
integration began with the ore companies that owned the 
raw material, and maintained continuously in the field 
their gangs of prospectors who searched the hidden places 
of the earth for more deposits. Coal companies were in- 
cluded, and were selected with reference to their location, 
their capacity, and the chemical availability of their prod- 
uct. Coal and ore railroads, as well as the lines of ore 
steamers on the Great Lakes, reduced the dependence of 
the corporation upon competitive carriers. Smelting mills, 
steel furnaces, rolling mills, and factories for the final manu- 
facture of iron and steel in all the finished forms completed 
the integrated organization that seemed to be as nearly 
independent as any corporation could be. 

In the summer of 1901 the new Steel Corporation came 
into conflict with organized labor, and was able to win 
without even a serious fight. There was no jheSher- 
doubt but that the prosperity that had been so man Anti- 
eamestly desired in the election of 1900 had 
fully arrived, but there was genuine question as to what to 
do with it. The statute books of the several States were 
crowded with ineffective laws that had been passed to 
preserve competition and to prevent monopoly, but the 
only federal statute was the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 
1890, and this was commonly regarded as moribund. No 
National Administration could fail to take cognizance of 
the business trend that produced such economic organi- 
zations as tb^ Steel Corporation and the Harriman merger, 



but President Roosevelt found little in the recorded policies 
of his predecessor to guide him to positive action. The 
history of the Sherman Act, however, in its eleven years of 
activity, was rich in its negative evidences upon the control 
of business by the Government. 

The Sherman Act forbade combinations or conspiracies 
in restraint of trade among the several States, and might be 
invoked by the Government itself in a public prosecution, by 
a private suitor who avowed himself injured by such com- 
bination, or by the defendant in any suit brought against 
him by a combination illegal because of this conspiracy. 
Down to 1 90 1 it had been involved in some forty litigations, 
of which nearly half were brought by the Government 
against minor offenders, and in which no jurist but William 
Howard Taft had gained any considerable prominence. 
No attempt had been made to break up any of the great 
trusts on the ground that its very existence was in violation 
of the law. The panic of 1893 and its consequences had 
extended over half of the lifetime of the law, and in these 
years the practice of business had been too circumspect and 
cautious to give unusual affront. Henry Demarest Lloyd 
wrote his Wealth against Commonwealth in 1894, i^ ^^ ^^" 
tempt to prove that a crisis in government was approach- 
ing; but wealth was chastened, and commonwealths were 
adverse to adding troubles where they were already too 
numerous, and no great public reaction followed to stimu- 
late a wider use of the Sherman Law. 

The political weakness of the Harrison Administration 
would have made it difficult for that President to have 
enforced the law with vigor. The attack of the Populists, 
threatening all capital with repudiation, drove Cleveland 
in his second term into such affiliations with responsible 
business as to have lessened his disposition to become an 
anti-trust crusader. The party and faction of William 
McKinley avowedly represented the demand that Govern- 
ment make it possible for business to exist, and McKinley 
died before the full tendency of the new trust movement 
had displayed itself. What he might h?ive done had he: 


lived is conjectural. A revision of his cherished views on 
the tariff was in his mind when the assassin struck him, but 
he sketched no course that could guide his successor. In 
neither party organization had there been strong tendency 
to distrust or impede the management of business. 

The death of McKinley produced no shock in business, 
and the mergers that were under way continued through 
the autumn of 1901. The uncertainty as to 
what was happening in the case of Northern Northern 
Pacific in the May panic was removed when it ^,JJ^J^ 
became known that the Harriman forces had 
been defeated, and Hill and Morgan had been victorious. 
In November the group of owners of the three railroads 
that together dominated the Northwestern States organ- 
ized their holdings to safeguard their control. The law 
forbade the direct merging of the lines under the ownership 
of any one otf them, and the only really important Supreme 
Court decision on the Sherman Act — the Trans-Missouri 
freight case — had held that the prohibitions of the law 
extended to railroads as. well as industrial combinations. 
The Northern Securities Company of New Jersey was 
(Chartered to act as a holding company and take over the 
stock in the several roads. The complacent corporation 
laws of New Jersey made it easy for companies to operate 
with large powers under merely casual scrutiny. It was 
argued by the attorneys of the owners that a company 
could not conspire with itself, and that acts that might be 
illegal if performed by separate corporations became legal 
when these corporations had acquired a common owner. 
Before Christmas, 1901, the Northwestern States from 
Minnesota to the ocean were in action in their alarm at 
what they regarded as the menace of a railroad monopoly. 
Some of these States could still remember their activities 
a generation earlier in the Granger movement, and could 
recall the fact that the federal courts first recognized the 
full liability of a railroad company to public control in the 
Granger cases that they had brought. Conferences were 
•held among the officials of the States involved, where they 


discussed ways and means for meeting the attack. In the 
White House the movement was watched with interest and 
appreciation. The President called upon his Attorney- 
General, Philander C. Knox, for an opinion as to the legal- 
ity of the Northern Securities Company, and whether the 
device of a holding company succeeded in evading the pro- 
hibition s^ainst conspiracy. 

The appointment of Knox as Attorney-General had been 
criticized because his professional connections as a Pitts- 
Northern burgh lawyer made him appear to be the servant 
Securiti^ of big business. When he undertook to study 
prosecu ion ^^^ legality of this case, the Sherman Law was 
substantiailly, as Cullom, the author of the first Interstate 
Commerce Act declared, "a dead letter." But Roosevelt's 
action upon his opinion awoke the ''slumbering conscience 
of the nation." On March lo, 1902, the National Govern- 
ment intervened in the situation in which the North- 
western States found themselves at a disadvantage, and 
Attorney-General Knox, by direction of the President, 
filed his petition for the outlawry of the Northern Secu- 
rities Company. 

From this moment a new economic policy was taken on. 
The Government intervened to protect the people from the 
Anti-trust Operations of big business. As soon as Congress 
laws, 1903 adjourned in the summer of 1902, Roosevelt 
went upon a speaking tour directing his attention to those 
* ' great corporations commonly cailled trusts. ' * The Outlook, 
that knew well of what it wrote, declared a little later that 
the "peculiar popularity of Theodore Roosevelt dates from 
the beginning of his campaign for the regulation of the trusts 
in the summer of 1 902 . " In the following session of Congress 
three acts were passed looking toward the more effective con- 
trol of trusts. The Expedition Act of February 11, 1903, 
made it possible to prosecute with firmness and quick results. 
Federal suits of this character were given precedence on the 
dockets of the courts, and the creation of special trial courts 
to hear Government prosecutions was provided for. The 
Northern Securities Case speedily found itself in one of these. 


A few days after the Expedition Act, the Elkins Anti- 
Rebate Act struck at one of the most persistent and perni- 
cious practices of the railroads. Many of the trusts were 
believed to have gained their dominance as the result of 
secret and unfair rebates on the carriage of their freight. 
The Department of Commerce and Labor was created on 
February 14, 1903, to provide a member in the Cabinet 
whose duty it should be to watch over the interests of the 
people in their economic relationships. The Commissioner I 
of Labor, who had existed for nineteen years in the Interior 
Department, was brought into the new department with 
a going organization. A new Bureau of Corporations with 
duties to keep watch over business was entrusted to James 
R. Garfield, son of the former President, while George B. 
Cortelyou, who had risen from stenographer to Cleveland 
to private secretary to McKinley, entered the Cabinet as 
the new Secretary. Cortelyou's office, remarked the 
Nation, was the President's personal department, and a 
governmental field that was new and all his own. 


Charles A. Beard, Contemporary American History (1914), gives an 
effective presentation of the influence of business on politics. F. A. Cleve- 
land and F. W. Powell, Railway Promotion and Capitalization in the United 
States (1909), contains an elaborate bibliography. Joseph G. Pyle, Life of 
James 7. HUl (19 17), is one of the best biographies of a captain of industry, 
and may be studied to advantage in connection with Beckles Willson, 
Life of Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal (191 5), and Henry Villard, Mem- 
oirs (1904). H. L. Wilgus, The United States Steel Corporation in its 
Industrial and Legal Aspects (1901), is a lawyer's analysis. The standard 
history of a trust is Ida M. Tarbell, History of the Standard Oil Company 




Before the first session of his first Congress adjourned, in 
the summer of 1902, Roosevelt had taken his stand with 
reference to big business, had assisted in the launching of 
the new Cuban Republic, and had threatened to precipi- 
tate a controversy over the protective tariff because of his 
interest in reciprocity with Cuba. 

There was some danger that Cuba, independent of Spain, 
and under her own government, would be worse off than be- 
Cuban fore the Spanish War. Spain had at least given 

reciprocity ^.j^^ colony a privileged position in her own 

trade. This was lost. A dependent Cuba belonging to the 
United States might have expected to share in the advan- 
tages of the free trade that was extended to Porto Rico, 
but free Cuba was a foreign country outside the law. Its 
Government immediately endeavored to negotiate for easy 
trade relations with the United States, and received the spir- 
ited support of Roosevelt, to whom this was a matter of 
elementary fairness. The project was injured in the public 
mind by the fact that free trade in sugar was welcomed by 
the Sugar Trust ; it was blocked in Congress by the stubborn 
antagonism of the '* beet-sugar insurgents," who refused to 
permit a Cuban competition with their own domestic 
product. There were also some members who were quite 
willing to let Roosevelt learn that he could not expect 
Congress always to do his bidding. In June the President 
sent in a vigorous message on the subject, but failed to get 
action from that Congress. Reciprocity with Cuba be- 
came one of the themes which he took with him upon his 
speaking trip. 

Popular nervousness over the expansion of the trusts 
grew during the summer of 1902 and was paralleled in the 
Republican Party by an uneasiness as to the President's 


probable attitude toward business. But a greater nervous- 
ness, steadily increasing during the summer, had Anthracite 
to do with the comfort of the approaching win- coal strike, 
ter, for the second great strike of the anthracite 
miners had been imder way since the middle of May and 
showed no prospect of yielding. 

The leadership of John Mitchell in the strike of 1900 
consolidated his poWer, increased the influence of the 
United Mine Workers, and engendered among the mine- 
owners a feeling that their situation was in danger. The 
impending contest involved more than the conditions of 
labor, and looked toward a complete recognition of the 
union, but was met by an inflexible refusal to accept the 
doctrine of the *' closed shop." There was no presidential 
canvass on to weaken the strategic position of the owners. 
"The rights and interests of the laboring man," wrote 
George F. Baer, who became the chief spokesman of the 
operators, **will be protected and cared for — not by the 
labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in 
His infinite wisdom has given the control of the property 
interests of this country, and upon the successful manage- 
ment of which so much depends." 

With a public already suspicious of big business, Baer's 
letter, claiming that the capitalists were viceroys of Provi- 
dence, had a wide and unexpected circulation. It gave the 
cue for cartoons without number, and from it may be 
traced the growth of sentiment that made it possible for the 
President to make another advance in policy. 

The strike continued through the summer with the 
workers under steady discipline and with a minimum of 
lawlessness around the mines. Public sympathy was not 
alienated by misconduct on behalf of the miners. The 
unions showed a capacity to hold out and a deadlock 
threatened the country with a winter without coal. On 
October 3 Roosevelt summoned the presidents of the coal 
companies and Mitchell to a conference at the White House. 
He had already determined that if the deadlock could be 
broken in no other way he would '*send in the United 


States Army to take possession of the coal fields." He 
had discussed the details of this with General Scofield, and 
intimated his intention to Senator Quay. It was a part of 
his intention to appoint a commission under ex-President 
Cleveland to ** decide on the rights of the case" while the 
army got out the coal. The White House conference was 
turbulent. The coal presidents got angry, and Roosevelt 
confessed that **he behaved very badly himself, and that 
Mitchell was the only one who kept his temper and his 

The demand of the President was for an immediate re- 
sumption of mining, accompanied by an examination into 
the merits of the controversy by a public commission. As 
the deadlock continued, there appeared repeatedly all over 
the country angry assertions of a new third interest in the 
controversy. The interest of the public was avowed to be 
superior to that of either miners or operators. Conserva- 
tive business tended to criticize the President for forcing 
himself into a struggle in whose determination he had no 
legal rights. The great majority, however, expressed satis- 
faction at his intervention, and looked to Roosevelt with 
increasing confidence as the only agent who could conserve 
the public interest. On October 13 the operators yielded; 
work was soon resumed, and a commission was set to study 
the controversy. The approaching fall elections found the 
National Administration headed upon the policy toward 
labor indicated by the anthracite strike, and the public 
discussing whether or not the party had started upon a 
new career. 

Four consecutive Republican Congresses were chosen in 
the four elections prior to 1902. The Republican Party 
Congres- approached the election of this year with con- 
sional dec- fidence based upon its long tenure of office and 

' its perfected party machine, and faced only 

those doubts that were indicated by the effect Roose- 
velt's new policies might have and the degree to which 
local leaders might dominate their regions. The tenure 
of the National Republican organization had been long 


enough for the development of local movements that now 
possessed considerable strength within the party. 

In Iowa, New York, and Texas recent movements indi- 
cated a popular desire to break away from partisan control 
of local government. New York City, in the fall election 
of 1 901, experienced one of its periodic revulsions against 
Tammany control, and elected Seth Low as mayor, at the 
head jof a reform administration. The prospect of better 
government for Greater New York, for the city had now 
been extended over the adjacent communities, was an 
index to movements of similar character throughout the 

In Cleveland a violent revulsion in politics brought Tom 
L. Johnson into office as mayor in the spring of 1901, on a 
program looking toward a broadening of city activities. 
Johnson had begun life in active business, and had made 
himself a fortune as an operator of street railways. About 
1890 he had a short period in Congress. The outstanding 
feature in his intellectual life was his reading of Henry 
George's Progress and Poverty, and his conversion to its 
doctrines. In Cleveland he worked for municipal owner- 
ship of the street railways, and for the extension of civic 
services as> "Golden-Rule" Jones had done in Toledo, and 
as Brand Whitlock was to continue in Toledo after 1906. 
The constructive side of Populism was struggling to the 
surface in the spirit of these men. The ''Texas idea,'* that 
was just beginning to take hold, was advanced by the great 
flood which left Galveston desolate in 1900. It had for its 
view the divorce of municipal government from politics 
through the substitution of a commission form of govern- 

The lack of satisfaction with prevailing political methods 
was closely paralleled by dissatisfaction with political 
ideals. The "Iowa idea," launched in the Re- The "Iowa 
publican Convention in that State in July, 1902, idea" and 
showed that the party could not expect perma- 
nent docility even in the heart of its geographical area. 
The Iowa Republicans, headed by Governor Albert B. Cum- 


mins, questioned the wisdom of the extremes of protection, 
and accepted the dictum that the tariff was the mother of 
trusts. In ther convention of 1902 the Iowa Republicans 
demanded a revision of the tariff in order to prevent shel- 
ter to monopoly, and approved Roosevelt's language with 
reference to trust control. Roosevelt took the cue from 
this manifestation of public opinion, and in his public 
speeches in the autumn urged a revision that should main- 
tain the principle of protection and yet keep the tariff 
schedules flexible so that they might be subject to change 
by the expert advice of a non-partisan commission, which 
he advocated. 

The revolt against the tariff and the belief that the 
President would support it struck at the heart of Republi- 
can doctrine. The party was not pledged to any course 
respecting the trusts, but the tariff idea had been its basic 
creed since the reorganization of the machine by Jones, 
Quay, and Hanra. 

On November 4, 1902, the Republican Party elected its 
fifth consecutive Congress, but with a reduced majority. 
'*The lesson it teaches to the Republican Party," was the 
comment of the Outlook, '*is that, if it would retain the 
support of the voters, it should follow the President's lead 
in modifying the tariff and establishing more rigid public 
control of the operations of the trusts." 

The party heresies in Iowa produced a national conse- 
quence of much importance. David B. Henderson, of 
Iowa, Congressman from the Dubuque district, announced 
in the summer of 1902 that he would not be a candidate to 
succeed himself. Since he was Speaker of the House of 
Representatives, this meant that in the new Congress a 
successor must be found. He had succeeded Thomas B. 
Reed, when the latter dropped out in 1899, dissatisfied with 
his party's trend. Henderson was identified with the 
movement for high protection that Governor Cummins 
questioned. His opponents said that he could not have 
been renominated had he desired. 

When the new Congress met in 1903 the lesson of the 


"Iowa idea" had no influence upon the conduct of the 
Republican majority. Joseph G. Cannon, of Joseph g. 
Illinois, a sturdy Republican, with externals Cannon, 
reminiscent of the tradition of Lincoln and with 
no question in his heart as to the merit of the tariff, was 
chosen to be Speaker. He had already sat in fourteen 
Congresses, and nearly thirty years previously he had been 
described as speaking **with an eloquence that was un- 
• tutored, but very effective. . . . He spoke of the hayseed in 
his hair, and under the magic touch of his voice that hay- 
seed glowed around his head like the halo of the martyrs." 
Before his first session as Speaker was over, t;he Outlook 
commented upon his ** equal mixture of drollery, rugged- 
ness, frankness, and common sense," and asserted that he 
had ** established a personal relationship with the members 
of the House of Representatives quite unique." 

The leadership of Cannon respecting the tariff was in a 
different direction than that advised by President Roose- 
velt, but the latter kept en cordial terms with Hanna and 
** Uncle Joe," the Speaker. The question of the the con- 
party nominations for 1904 was arousing com- 
ment at the date of Cannon's election, and the group of 
Republicans that decried the influence that Roosevelt was 
exerting over the party was hopefully casting about for a 
candidate stronger with the people and acceptable to them- 
selves. This candidate they found in Senator Marcus 
Alonzo Hanna. 

Mark Hanna was *'the full flower of the spirit of com- 
mercialism in politics." Twenty years before his successful 
generalship landed McKinley in the White House he had 
been identified with his party in Ohio, but had devoted 
most of his attention to his private business. After 1897 he 
became a public figure. Opposition cartoonists caricatured 
him as bloated business, branded with the dollar mark, btft 
before 1900 his personal appearance and his shrewd wisdom 
had begun to contribute to his reputation as a statesman. 
Unused to public speaking when he entered the Senate, he 
learned the trade and became an acceptable speaker on 


national affairs. Everywhere he went he gained the posi- 
tive interest of conservative society, and lessened the hos- 
tility of others. His intervention in the coal strike of 
1900 left him with a genuine interest in the problems of 
labor, to which his active membership in the new National 
Civic Federation soon bore witness. Before the death of 
McKinley Southern Republicans had begun to talk of him 
as a conservative Republican candidate for 1904. 

Hanna was never really a candidate for the nomination, . 
but did not effectually withdraw his name from discussion. 
He allowed the uncertainty as to his intentions to worry 
Roosevelt, who was frankly a candidate for renomination 
to succeed himself. Even if there had been ambitions, 
Hanna knew they could not be realized because of an 
incurable disease. He died on February 15, 1904, bringing 
to an end all of the hopes that stirred among those who 
desired to elect some other President than Roosevelt. Other 
than Hanna there was no possible competitor for the Re- 
publican nomination. 

Between the death of Hanna and the opening of the Re- 
publican Convention on June 21, most of the evidences of 

party difference were eliminated. The con- 
Hcans nom- servative leaders gave their support to the Presi- 
vetri^o^ dent, to Root for temporary chairman, and to 

Cannon for permanent chairman. Jacob Riis 
published in serial form his laudatory biography, Theodore 
Roosevelt the Citizen; Francis E. Leupp brought out The Man 
Roosevelt. The conservatives accepted Roosevelt, the rank 
and file of the party acclaimed him, and he himself paid the 
price by postponing his demands for revision of the tariff 
and for other unsettling policies. 

The conservative decision of the President was made clear 
by the treatment of Wisconsin Republicans at the conven- 
tion. In Wisconsin, like Iowa, there had been uneasiness 
at organization control. Robert M. La FoUette, after 
three terms in Congress, had advanced his claim to be gov- 
ernor on a platform of tax reform, direct primaries, and 
corporation control. In 1896 and again in 1898 he was 


beaten at the Republican Convention. In 1900 he gained 
the nomination and was elected governor for the first of 
three terms. 

The Wisconsin legislation between 1900 and 1905 laid 
the foundations of the "Wisconsin idea,*' beginning with 
primary legislation and railway control. As a '* champion 
of the people's rights," Governor La Follette desired to 
head the Wisconsin delegation to the Republican Conven- 
tion. A bolting Republican State Convention selected a 
different delegation, dominated by the two Senators from 
the State, and Henry C. Payne, who was Roosevelt's Post- 
master-General. The Republican National Convention ex- 
cluded the regular delegation and seated the conservative 
bolting group. After 1904 it was always possible for critics 
of President Roosevelt to use this discrimination against a 
reform Republican as evidence of political insincerity. 

The Republican ticket was completed by the nomination 
of Charles W. Fairbanks for Vice-President, and the selec- 
tion of George B. Cortelyou as chairman of the Republican 
National Committee. 

The Democratic Convention at St. Louis had no clear 
candidate or issue. The new policies of President Roosevelt 
had attracted the interest of many voters who Alton B. 
had supported Bryan in the last two campaigns. Parker the 
Bryan himself was not a candidate, but stood nominee, 
outside the ring to let the convention do its best '^^ 
without him. Populism had ceased to be a vital force. 
The middle-of-the-road Populists held a national conven- 
tion that emphasized their unimportance. The Democratic 
Convention heeded neither the Populists' appeals for the 
observance of their ancient faith nor the journalistic efforts 
of William Randolph Hearst to secure the nomination for 
himself. The final selection was Judge Alton B. Parker, 
of New York, whose earlier political affiliations had been 
with the faction of David B. Hill. Some regarded his 
nomination as the end of Democratic rule by **a minority 
who were enslaved while in a hypnotic trance." This im- 
pression was strengthened by a sensational telegram to the 


convention, in which Judge Parker notified his party of his 
repudiation of the Bryan doctrine of free silver. The politi- 
cal depression of the Democrats is indicated by the fact 
that some of them talked seriously of a fourth nomination 
of Grover Cleveland, as the only person who could beat 

The struggle for the votes in 1904 was one-sided in that 
the personality of Judge Parker was no match for that 
of President Roosevelt. The Democratic Party had no 
principles that were not more attractively stated in either 
the Republican platform or the speeches of the President, 
and the country was still rioting in the prosperity that had 
dominated the preceding campaign. Not until the last of 
the canvass did any matter of genuine interest appear. 
Then came an episode, as a consequence of which, says John 
Hay, Judge Parker '*was called a liar, and a malignant liar, 
and a knowing and conscious liar,'* by the President. 

The issue involved had been hinted at by Democratic 
speakers throughout the canvass. They had complained 
that Cortelyou, Roosevelt's campaign manager, had as 
Campaign Secretary of Conunerce and Labor been in a 
funds position through his Bureau of Corporations to 

examine the private accounts of big business. They charged 
that the great corporations were giving freely to the Repub- 
lican campaign fund, and they insinuated as directly as they 
dared that in this connection there was an opportunity 
for possible blackmail. On the last day of October Judge 
Parker, speaking in Madison Square Garden, denounced 
Cortelyou's campaign fund as a scandal and repeated the 
insinuation as to his methods. To this President Roosevelt 
replied in a resounding and indignant denial of the fact 
and the inference. Whether the Democratic inference of 
blackmail was correct or not, the fact was that great cor- 
porations, following their usual practice, had made large 
gifts. George W. Perkins soon admitted making a contri- 
bution of nearly fifty thousand dollars on behalf of the 
New York Life Insurance Company, and other contributions 
were subsequently brought to light in the Senate investiga- 


tion of 1912. In 1907 Congress forbade any federal corpora- 
tion to contribute to any campaign fund, and any corpo- 
ration to contribute toward the election of a President, a 
Senator, or a Representative. 

The attack of Judge Parker created a ripple of interest, 
but was more than offset, for the time being, by Roose- 
velt's denial and his appeal to *'all men of common sense" 
and **all honest men." No President had ever received so 
large a majority as Roosevelt did in 1904. Eugene V. Debs, 
the Socialist candidate, ran third with six hundred thousand 


The works listed under Chapter XXX are useful here also. Herbert 
Croly, Marcus Alonzo Hanna (1912), is a vivid historical reconstruction, 
considering that Hanna left almost no collected papers. The Wisconsin 
movement may be watched in Robert M. La Follette, Autobiography (1913). 
Joseph G. Cannon is now (1920) publishing chapters of his own autobiog- 
raphy. J. L. Laughlin and H. P. Willis, Reciprocity (1903), contains 
materials on the Cuban problem. 



The attack upon big business directed by Roosevelt in 
1902 and 1903 was the first and the heaviest of the shocks 
Public ^^^^ destroyed the complacency of the American 

opinion and spirit and introduced a period of suspicion and 

distrust. The America of the nineties was im- 
pregnated with what some critics described as gross mate- 
rialism. The history of the nation had seen the rewards of 
life fall to the individual with spirit and ingenuity. The 
frontier ideal had everywhere prevailed, and had gloried in 
the successful surmounting of obstacles. The road from 
the log cabin to the White House had been traveled more 
than once, and the other road that led to wealth and busi- 
ness influence was beaten broad and smooth. Public opin- 
ion looked upon the successful man as a desirable asset in 
society. Individuals looked forward to success for them- 
selves as a reasonable expectation, and the resulting popular 
confidence in personal achievement produced a spirit of 
complacency in the presence of material comfort. The in- 
spiring careers of the captains of the industrial develop- 
ment lost much of their luster as the spirit got abroad that 
business was corrupt, and that success was often founded 
upon unfair practices. 

Before the mechanism for the control of trusts could be 
created, the public had to be shown that the trusts were bad 
enough to need control. Criminal prosecutions and public 
attacks directed from the seats of the mighty helped to 
accomplish this. The period of suspicion was hastened by 
the advent of a literature of exposure that dragged unsightly 
practices from the seclusion of private business and invested 
them with a public interest. It was a short step for public 
opinion, from its stand that the trust must obey the law, 
to its new stand that, in a great strike, the interests of the 


direct combatants are less than those of the general public ; 
and from this to its new position that all business that 
affects the public is the public's business. 

The Roosevelt Administration witnessed the develop- 
ment of the literature of exposure as it passed from sensa- 
tion to sensation, and ended in a riot among the unsightly 
facts that suggested the name of ** muckraking" to cover 
the process. It beheld as well an improvement in standards 
of taste and a broadening of appreciation in literature and 
art. It saw also a revival of interest in education and in the 
sciences that bear upon the facts of life. The practice of 
government began to change, under the influence of non- 
political experts whose decisions were more and more based 
upon scholarly judgments, and whose number increased with 
each new function of supervision assumed by the United 

A new national journalism was the vehicle of the muck- 
rakers. The American newspaper passed through one stage 
in its development with the group of great edi- jsjew types 
tors that arose after the Civil War — Greeley of joumal- 
and Reid, Bowles, Halstead, Horace White, and 
Henry Watterson. The vogue of the personal editors 
weakened in the eighties as new habits in advertising and 
new methods of handling news through the press associa- 
tions threw their influence in favor of local and colorless 
journalism founded upon the interests of the business of- 
fice. In the nineties no American journal had an influence 
such as Horace Greeley exerted for a generation with his 
weekly Tribune, The new journals of local gossip founded 
by Hearst and his imitators substituted thrill and flavor for 
influence and sound knowledge, and did little to help in the 
formation of an enlightened public opinion. 

The mechanical devices of the printing trade made 
possible new results in the printing of periodicals. The 
half-tone process and the zinc etching made their appear- 
ance in the eighties, followed by illustration on a scale of 
accuracy and beauty hitherto unknown. The improve- 
ments in transportation widened the range and ease of 



distribution, and prepared the way for a type of journalism 
that was represented by McClure's Magazine, in 1893. 

The story of the ten-cent magazines has to do with the 
widening of interest in forms of literature higher than the 
The ten- daily press. The old literary magazines kept to 
cent their policy and their higher prices in spite of 

maga ines ^^^ ^^^ competition. The Atlantic, Harper's 

Monthly, Century, and Scribner's Magazine had established 
definite reputations before S. S. McClure organized the new 
invasion of the field. McClure* s Monthly, Munsey's, and 
The Cosmopolitan were the chief members of the new pe- 
riodical group that reached out for the news-stand trade at 
a nominal price, and that sought for literary wares of in- 
terest to the new clientele. 

The limitations of this clientele are discussed in the 
autobiography of S. S. McClure. The range included the 
great middle class capable of larger interests than the 
ephemeral daily press could satisfy, yet not up to as high 
standards als the readers of the Atlantic and Harper's. The 
Century Magazine had come in contact with this class to its 
great financial profit when in the eighties it ran its two 
serials, the ** Biography of Lincoln,*' by Nicolay and Hay, 
and the *' Battles and Leaders of the Civil War," by the 
leaders themselves. The new cheap magazines made 
deliberate search for articles that should be universal in 
their appeal, and hence marketable over the whole country. 
They needed also to be obvious in their significance, for the 
profits of the business depended upon reaching a public 
unaccustomed to serious reading. A thrill of some sort was 
indispensable. The yellow journals were already flourish- 
ing upon the appetite of society for exciting news. The 
ideal material for the new periodicals combined universality 
with obvious clearness, and some of the element that came 
to be known as ** punch.'* 

McClure was the leader among the new periodical jour- 
Ida M. nalists and early in his career discovered the 
Tarbcll greatest of his co-editors, Ida M. Tarbell. Two 
serials by this young historian, covering the lives of Lincoln 


and Napoleon, exploited the growing interest in Lincoln's 
democracy and in the centennial of Bonaparte. McClure 
sensed immediately the fact that business contained the 
themes for stories once the attention of the public was di- 
rected to the conduct of business. In 1903 Miss Tarbell 
began to publish in McClure' s Magazine her "History of 
the Standard Oil Company," which was documented and 
criticized as a sound piece of historical investigation, and 
which proved to lay the foundation for a new period of 
national thought. It began in a serious way the literature 
of exposure. 

From making serious studies in the habits of business to 
muckraking for the sake of the muck carried the new jour- 
nalism through a period of four years. The little group 
of monthlies, supplemented by Collier's Weekly, did the 
burden of pioneer work in responsible exposure. They 
commonly safeguarded themselves before publication by 
accumulating evidence that might be an adequate defense 
if their victims brought suit for libel, but their trail was 
followed by irresponsible sensation-mongers attracted only 
by the thrills of exposure and the profits of huge circula- 
tion. Among the most prominent of the products of the 
new literature were Lincoln Steffens's Shame of the Cities, 
Thomas Lawson's Frenzied Finance, and the revelations on 
patent medicine and its advertising that Collier's Weekly 

Fiction was brought into the ranks to serve the muck- 
rakers. Cut-throat speculation furnished the theme for 
Frank Norris's Octopus (1901); the offenses of the meat- 
packers inspired Upton Sinclair's Jungle (1906), while the 
political intrigues of railroads and big business were used 
by Winston Churchill in Coniston (1906). 

Exposure was both useful and profitable while it main- 
tained its connection with reality. As the months went 
on much of it became irresponsible, and at once Literature 
created among its readers a desire for excitement °^ exposure 
and highly seasoned news, and destroyed the good balance 
of their judgment. The worship of success with which the 


critics had reproached American opinion in the nineties was 
transmuted into suspicion and social hatred. Epithets 
came to be substituted for constructive analysis, and 
Roosevelt had not got far into his second term before muck- 
raking had become an obstruction to reform instead of 
its ally. In April, 1906, having occasion to deliver an 
address at the comer-stone laying of the new office building 
for the House of Representatives, the President sought to 
call a halt in the movement that he himself had so greatly 
stimulated. He pointed out what John Bunyan had known 
when he used the phrase, that muck is of use only when it 
serves to fertilize the land — not when it is gathered for its 
own sake. The time had come, he declared, to turn to con- 
structive work to remedy the evils that had been exposed. 
The reality of these evils was too true to be denied. Charles 
E. Hughes found them permeating the business of insur- 
ance; Joseph W. Folk uncovered them in the Middle West; 
Garfield in his public office showed the unfair practices that 
prevailed in the transportation of petroleum. ** What we 
have been witnessing," declared the venerable Washington 
Gladden, **is a new Apocalypse, an uncovering of the ini- 
quity of the land. . . , We have found that no society can 
march hellward faster than a democracy under the ban- 
ner of unbridled individualism.'* 

American literary taste and appreciation, distorted by 

the one-sided activities of the muckrakers, w£is nevertheless 

surer of itself in the twentieth century than it 

^i^^rary j^^^ heeti two decades earlier. No European 

dramatic visitor could Start as wide a ripple of irritation 

standards , '^'^ 

or self-examination in 1905 as Matthew Arnold 
and James Bryce did in their day. The correspondence 
of President Roosevelt with Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 
the historian of the American Revolution, reveals the de- 
gree to which the best of the English had come to under- 
stand America; while America took itself as an established 
fact, and a growing number of Americans lived in the intel- 
lectual currents of the whole world, accepting and valu- 
ing ideals without much reference to their origin. It was 


still possible for a foreigner, like Maxim Gorky, to weaken 
his standing in an instant by a departure from the accepted 
American code of morals; but where he failed a hundred 
others succeeded in gaining the approval of the country. 

Ellen Terry and Sir Henry Irving were for a generation 
living evidence of the standard taste that disregarded the 
Atlantic Ocean. From his first appearance in America in 
1883 until the end of the century, he, or they — for they 
frequently appeared together — found unvarying popu- 
larity for their presentations of romantic drama. Irving 
found Edwin Booth at the top of his career when he first 
appeared, Joseph Jefferson already well established as 
"Bob Acres" and "Rip Van Winkle," Richard Mansfield 
just starting a long career with a success in A Parisian 
Romance, the younger Sothem taking over some of his 
father's glory, and Denman Thompson reaching the middle 
tones of American life in the perennial Old Homestead. 
Year after year, as Irving and Terry returned to the Ameri- 
can theaters in their Shakespearean revivals, they found 
the personnel changing and the standard rising. It ceased 
to be true, as Henry Ward Beecher once suggested, that 
"the only amusements tolerated by the American Church 
were Banking and the Currency." John Drew, Nat C. 
Goodwin, and Francis Wilson established themselves in 
their fields of social comedy and farce, while Julia Marlowe, 
Maude Adams, and Ethel Barrymore brought charm and 
delicacy into a profession that had long needed it. 

Edwin Booth died in 1893, after having turned his home 
and much of his fortune over to his profession, in the form 
of the Players' Club, which he founded in New vaudeville 
York. For a decade more Joseph Jefferson took and the ^ 
his place as dean of the American stage, yielding 
the position on his death to Edward H. Sothem and Julia 
Marlowe. By the end of the first decade of the new cen- 
tury, while taste was becoming standardized throughout 
the English -st)eaking world, the rivals of the old drama were 
forcing doubts as to its survival. In the lighter forms the 
pageantry of the old Black Crook^ that ran for a generation 


as a New York recreation for country visitors, yielded to 
vaudeville and musical comedy. The melodious enter- 
tainment of comic opera, whose Pinafore and Mikado set 
the eighties to humming tunes, suffered with the drama. 
Lottie Collins, with her noisy Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay , and 
Anna Held and Yvette Guilbert, with their foreign accent 
and their songs of shady suggestion, brought the standards 
of the European music-halls to America in the nineties. 
The moving pictures began in the next decade to cheapen 
dramatic art and to popularize its substitutes. 

The historian of the drama might perhaps show that the 
amount of interest in the highest forms of theatrical art 
Music and Steadily increased, but seemed proportionately 
^^P^* less because of the multitude of cheap and in- 

ferior productions that grew even more rapidly as city 
populations with money to spend became more dense and 
numerous. The best acting was, perhaps, not declining 
below the standard of the Booths ; musical appreciation was 
being created and improved on every hand. The work of 
Theodore Thomas laid the foundations of American music 
in the East in the seventies and in the West in the eighties. 
His orchestra in Chicago made that city a musical center 
after the World's Fair; while the Boston Symphony Or- 
chestra, under the persistent patronage of Major Henry 
L. Higginson, maintained standards creditable anywhere. 
In the city amusement parks, gaining rapidly in popularity 
as electric transportation made it possible to reach them, 
music found additional patrons, and orchestras and bands 
multiplied. John Philip Sousa and Walter Damrosch 
helped to increase the popular understanding of good mu^c. 
The father of the latter, Leopold Damrosch, was one of 
the early pioneers in the task. 

Grand opera became fashionable before it became popu- 
lar in the United States. The opening of Henry E. Abbey's 
Metropolitan Opera House in New York in 1883 was one 
of the early landmarks in its development, and coincided 
within a few months with the first presentation of Wag* 
ner's Parsifal at Bajrreuth. Thomas and Damrosch were 


already playing most of the Wagnerian scores in their con- 
certs before the importation of foreign singers made their 
operatic production practicable in the United States. It 
was a long distance from Bamum's exploitation of Jenny 
Lind, in 1850, to the grand opera season in New York in 
the nineties, with its huge subscription list and its display of 
millinery. The extension of the capacity to appreciate the 
best in music moved more rapidly in the next two decades 
as the phonograph in its various forms carried musical 
education far beyond the widest of the concert audiences. 
The operatic singers found the profits of their profession 
vastly increased by the clientele created by the phonograph. 

By the side of the broadening taste in matters of artistic 
appreciation there was a broadening of the religious spirit 
in America. The Church in the twentieth cen- Religious 
tury seemed to be developing its social implica- and social 
tions and subordinating its doctrinal. There 
were no conceded leaders of the relative eminence of Phil- 
lips Brooks or Henry Ward Beecher, whose churchet were 
almost national monuments twenty years earlier. The 
emotional side of religion that had been represented by 
Moody and Sankey was continued by Billy Sunday and his 
imitators. But religious thought, in the pulpit and outside 
it, had come under the influence of science and sociology. 
Inter-denominational respect and tolerance had succeeded 
theological bickering. The institutional church was an 
accomplished fact, and derived powerful support from non- 
sectarian bodies like the Young Men's Christian Association 
and the Young Women's Christian Association. Heresy 
trials became so rare as to appear anomalous, and church 
papers generally lost both acidity and colorless piety, 
while some, like the Independent and the Christian Union, 
branched out into broader journalism. A growing zeal 
for social service gave strength to the movement for politi- 
cal reform. 

The indignation at the trend of business, upon which the 
muckrakers fattened, coincided with a new feeling of re- 
sponsibility for the public welfare on behalf of the very 


offenders who were denounced. Both John D. Rockefeller 
and Andrew Carnegie became notable leaders in the en- 
couragement of new movements in education, while a mul- 
titude of other benefactors enlarged the endowments of 
universities and colleges. 

For Andrew Carnegie the flotation of the United States 
Steel Corporation marked a transition from captain of in- 
The Car- dustry to sage and benefactor. He was already 
negiebenev- identified with an educational movement which 

showed itself in the raising of a multitude of 
libraries bearing his name. In January, 1902, he turned 
over a clear gift of ten million dollars to the Carnegie Insti- 
tution of Washington for the encouragement of research. 
There had been a question in his mind as to whether he 
should create a new institution as Johns Hopkins did, or 
revivify an old one, as Rockefeller did with the University 
of Chicago. The final decision, in which Daniel C. Gilman 
had a large share, was to create an institution to advance 
those aspects of research that found difficulty in being 
cultivated in existing institutions. The scientific bureaus 
organized in the Carnegie Institution were soon at work 
upon' a range of studies that spread from European sources 
for the history of the United States to the deflection of the 
needle toward the magnetic pole. 

In 1905 Carnegie set aside a second fund to be admin- 
istered for the improvement of teaching by the Carnegie 
Foundation. A system of professorial pensions and re- 
tiring allowances was brought into existence by this means. 
A little later he created a Carnegie Endowment for Inter- 
national Peace, and before he died, in 1919, he had ap- 
proached his ambition to die poor by consecrating the great 
bulk of his wealth to the Carnegie Corporation (191 1) with 
a mandate to keep his other endowments supplied with 

The Southern Education Board, created in 1901 with 
Robert C. Ogden as its guiding spirit, was an outgrowth of 
the Northern interest in Southern education already ex- 
pressed in the Peabody and Sla^t^f f und§. In 1903 tb^ Q^a- 


eral Education Board was incorporated on the initiative 
of the Rockefellers to assist by encouragement jj^^ 
and gift in the development of education by Rockefeller 
private means. The Rockefeller Institute (1901) 
devoted itself to the laboratory study of medical problems, 
and the Rockefeller Foundation (19 13) drew to itself in 
191 7 one of the most inspiring of the University presidents, 
George E. Vincent, to develop its universal campaign for 
social betterment. 

The new university presidents of the first decade of the 
twentieth century gave evidence to the growing determin- 
ation that higher education should solve the Educational 
specific problems. A great scientist at Johns ^^^^^ 
Hopkins, Ira Remsen (1902), continued the tradition of 
pure research that Gilman had established. At Columbia 
University, Nicholas Murray Butler (1902) turned his broad 
humanitarian culture to the service of education. At Wis- 
consin Charles Richard Van Hise (1903) came as a great 
economic geologist to help solve the problems on the border- 
line of government and science. At Princeton a layman, 
Woodrow Wilson (1902), took up the burden for the culti- 
vation of democratic ideals. ** I have studied the history of 
America," he said in his inaugural; **I have seen her grow 
great in the paths of liberty and of progress by following 
after great ideals. Every concrete thing that she has done 
has seemed to rise out of some abstract principle, some vi- 
sion of the mind. The greatest victories have been the 
victories of peace [and] of humanity." 

In the mind of the muckraker the injustices of the eco- 
nomic system were ascribable to the unrestrained cupidity 
and criminal designs of wealth. The point of view was not 
far different from that of organized socialism that put its 
first presidential ticket in the field in 1900, and endeavored 
thereafter to show that capitalism lay at the root of all 
evil. It is not necessary for the historian to accept this easy 
diagnosis of the conditions that were revealed by inves- 
tigations and prosecutions. Government was undergoing a 
change in both its purpose and method, and it would have 


been difficult, with the best and most conscientious of in- 
tentions, to have avoided much of the injustice that ac- 
companied the industrial revolution. 

Steadily since the close of the Civil War the business of 
government — city, state, or national — had increased in 
volume and in scope. One after another the people en- 
trusted to their representatives tasks they had formerly 
performed themselves, like water supply and drainage, as 
well as tasks that had gone unperformed in the earlier 
stages of American organization, like food inspection and 
reclamation. Not until 1883 was the principle definitely 
accepted that the tenure of public office by the civil servant 
must be connected with capacity and a proper fulfillment of 
duties. The amount of work to be done steadily increased, 
while the technical portion of it became every year a larger 
part of the whole. 

With the approval of the people Government entered into 
a field in which decisions could not be reached by political 
Specialists argument, and in which proper action could 
in Govern- be based only upon technical skill. The con- 

elusions of the bacteriologists and the plant 
pathologists in the Government service could have no con- 
nection with practical politics, yet all American legislative 
bodies in the nineteenth century were organized chiefly for 
the purpose of reaching political decisions. Before Govern- 
ment could readjust itself to the new idea that made it the 
protector of individual liberty and opportunity, it was nec- 
essary to devise new methods in legislation in order to make 
it possible for political legislatures to direct scientific or 
technical operations. 

Congress and the legislatures gradually and almost un- 
consciously changed their habits. The public debate be- 
came less important. than the committee hearing. Before 
the committees, experts in the various fields of government 
made their appearance to explain the reasonableness of the 
programs that were recommended. These programs in in- 
creasing degree depended upon the integrity of the scholar- 
ship of expert civil servants. The process was under way 


during the muckraking epoch, but both legislators and ex- 
perts had much to learn before the final position of both in 
the new scheme could be established. A clean heart and 
a love for the people was not an adequate preparation for 
regulating the railroads, nor was the most expert scientific 
attainment a guarantee of wisdom in the direction of public 
policy. The germ of the British Parliament, the mother of 
American legislatures, was provided in ancient local finan- 
cial juries that heard testimony and rendered verdicts. 
History was in a way repeating itself as the twentieth -cen- 
tury legislatures learned to sit in judgment over the techni- 
cal plans brought up to them from the administrative de- 
partments of government. What the muckraker ascribed 
to guilty manipulation may in part have been due to guilt, 
but has a simpler explanation in the fact that industry had 
grown more rapidly than the theory of the state. 

When Roosevelt became President, the executive civil 
service cost the United States about one hundred and thirty 
millions a year in salaries, and included 235,766 Federal 
positions, of which 108,967 were classified and ^*^*^ service 
under the control of the Civil Service Commission. The 
number thus protected included most of the responsible 
positions, the unclassified places being open chiefly to un- 
skilled and low-paid routine workers. In the next sixteen 
years before the World War overturned the civil service, and 
inflated all offices beyond recognition, the expanding func- 
tions of government increased much more rapidly than pop- 
ulation. In 1 91 7 the Civil Service Commission controlled 
and safeguarded 326,899 positions in the executive civil 
service out of a total of 517,805. In these years the debates 
in Congress as revealed in the Congressional Record lose 
something of their value to the historian, but their loss is 
more than supplied by the testimony and reports of Con- 
gressional hearings and investigations. The United States 
was launched upon a period in which Government control 
was to be extended not only over the ordinary acts of life, 
but over the unused resources of national existence. 



The best sources of muckraking are the writings of the muckrakers that 
may be found in profusion in the cheaper magazines, 1903-07; and more 
especially in McClure's, Everybody s, The American Magazine, and Collier* s 
Weekly, S. S. McCIure, My Autobiography (19 14), is a frank and self- 
centered narrative; The Americanization of Edward Bok (1920), is the 
autobiography of the successful editor of the Ladies' Home Journal, 
E. A. Ross, Changing America (1912), gives a sociologist's evaluation of 
the new forces. James R. Day, The Raid on Prosperity (1907), was a 
famous tract defending big business against the attacks upon it. 



The ant i- trust legislation of 1903 was accepted as a recogni- 
tion by the Government of the problems before it, and as an 
earnest of new laws to come. The Expedition immigra- 
Act made it easier for the Government to en- tion prob- 


force existing laws when prosecution was deemed 
necessary, and the Bureau of Corporations soon provided 
data for preliminary opinions as to both legislation and 
prosecution. The Bureau of Labor made a continuous 
study of the relations of labor to industry. A Bureau of 
Immigration was brought into the Department of Com- 
merce and Labor, and a new general immigration law was 
passed in 1907. The close relationship between immigra- 
tion and labor, recognized in the work of these bureaus, was 
affected by the changing nature of the immigrant. The 
' * bird-of-passage ' * was increasing in number, and the pro- 
portion from the races of southern Europe was steadily 
growing. The wholesome migration from northern Europe 
that had brought the Irish, the Germans, and the Scanc'*- 
navians to the United States had stopped. Between 1900 
and 1 91 4 the annual totals of immigration ranged from 
448*572 to 1,285,349, of which northern Europe contrib- 
uted about thirty-five per cent. The southern immi- 
grant became Americanized less easily than his North Eu- 
rope predecessors. He remained isolated in racial groups 
as unskilled labor for a longer period. He showed less 
tendency to make a career for himself and his family out 
of the American opportunity, and showed a constant dis- 
position to live a subnormal economic life, accumulate his 
surplus earnings, and return with them to his original 

The interest of Roosevelt in the drafting and passage of 
necessary legislation was continually expressed. The elec- 


tion of 1904 added to his prestige, anfl weakened the powers 
of the opposition. Speaking at the Union League Club in 
Philadelphia, in 1905, he described the task as one for the 
preservation of equal opportunity for rich and poor: ** There 
must be no hurry, but there must also be no halt." He 
had already succeeded, in connection with the Northern 
Securities prosecution, in proving that the Sherman Law 
possessed some teeth, and was less moribund than had been 

The inauguration of the Northern Securities prosecution 
in 1902 was pushed steadily by Knox, and under the Ex- 
Northern pedition Act was transferred to a special trial 
Securities court, whose decision in favor of the Government 


was unanimously concurred in by the Supreme 
Court in March, 1904. The guilty corporation was ordered 
to disband and disgorge. Among the claims of the Presi- 
dent in the campaign of this year was that of having proved 
himself a successful ** trust-buster." The business interests 
involved looked at it from a different angle. It was too 
bad, thought James J. Hill, **to have to fight for our lives 
against the political adventurers who have never done any- 
thing but pose and draw a salary.'* Within both parties, 
but chiefly within the Republican, there developed a group 
of irreconcilable conservatives, many of whom had hoped 
for Hanna in 1904, who continued increasingly to oppose 
Roosevelt and all his works. 

The Northern Securities case proved that successful 
prosecutions were possible, but not that the problems of 
concentration could be solved in this manner. The offense 
of the company lay in the merging in a single ownership of 
the control of stock of three great rival railway systems. 
When the company disbanded by order of the Supreme 
Court, this stock was distributed among the owners of the 
Northern Securities stock, each of them receiving shares of 
the Great Northern, the Northern Pacific, and the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy in proportion to the number of shares 
he owned in the Northern Securities Company. As a 
consequence of this the actual ownership of the three rail- 


roads did not change. The same group of individuals who 
had controlled them through the Northern Securities Com- 
pany continued to control them as private individuals. 
Experience soon showed that by ** gentlemen's agreement" 
it was as easy for these owners to manage their property in 
harmony £is it had been through the vehicle of a holding 
corporation. The guilty trust was broken up by law, but 
the fact of consolidation remained as large as ever. 

In the discussions of trust and railroad control that ran 
parallel to the Northern Securities prosecution, from 1902 
to 1906, the question emerges as to whether the Economics 
solution of the trust problem lay in the Sherman of the trust 
Act method of prohibition or in some other 
method involving the elimination of unfair practices, while 
recognizing the consolidations themselves as reasonable. 
The experience of twenty years could point to no sure case 
in which the anti-trust laws had succeeded in breaking up 
consolidation and restoring free competition among small 
units. Practical economists began to question whether the 
advantages of combination could be repealed by statute. 
The continued reliance of Government on prosecution, 
however, was made necessary by an irritable public opin- 
ion, excited by the facts of the muckrakers, led on in many 
cases by irresponsible reformers, and anxious to see some- 
body punished for what were regarded as the sins of society. 

The railway laws of 1903 were preliminary to a general 
revision of the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. Like 
the Sherman Act, the Interstate Commerce Act aimed to 
maintain free competition among the railroads. For many 
years the Interstate Commerce Commission continued to 
add new facts to the American knowledge of the railroad 
problem, and in these same years, unimpeded by the law, 
the great railway systems of the eighties had matured, and 
the still greater systems of 1901 and 1902 had been launched. 
The law was to be revised aftd Congress busied itself with 
the content of the revision. 

The President's messages of 1904 and 1905 contained 
repeated demands for the enlargement of the Interstate 


Commerce Commission. The general popularity of these 
demands is proved by the multitude of railroad laws brought 
in by Congressmen anxious to please the people of their 
districts. Most of the bills drafted were conceived in ig- 
norance and bad temper, as the original Granger laws had 
been, and languished permanently in the committees to 
which they were referred. Congress was slow in learning 
the lesson that technical economic problems could be solved 
only on the basis of technical economic knowledge. In the 
session of 1904 and 1905 one of the railroad bills received 
the almost unanimous support of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. This Esch-Townsend Act was passed by a 
vote of 326 to 17, and gave to the Interstate Commerce 
Commission the power to fix the rates of transportation. 
It was received in the Senate in February, 1905, and there 
met with a delay that exasperated the angry opponents of 
the trusts, who relieved their feelings by attacking the 
** treason" and the ** menace" of the United States Senate. 
The conservatism of the Senate was built into it by the 
Constitution for the purpose of creating an independent 
2^ency willing and able to withstand gusts of public opinion. 
Whenever the Senate has fulfilled the original intention, it 
has met with obloquy. It was here charged with being in 
the employ of the trusts. The process that had sent suc- 
cessful men of affairs to the Senate in the nineties, and 
brought it under the domination of a group like Aldrich of 
Rhode Island, Piatt of New York, Quay and Penrose of 
Pennsylvania, Hanna of Ohio, and Spooner of Wiscon- 
sin, lent itself readily to the attack that was now pressed. 
The eager advocates of immediate railroad legislation de- 
nounced the conservatism of these Senators as service to 
big business and to the machine. One of the new Senators, 
elected in January, 1905, and seated in 1906, assumed the 
open leadership against this group. This was Robert M. 
La FoUette, who, fresh from St successful program of leg- 
islation for corporation control m Wisconsin, began as 
Senator to attack the corporations in season and out, to 
propound constructive theories for their control, and to 


join with the Democrats in demanding roll-calls on votes 
whenever possible. In the long vacations, as he traveled 
on Chautauqua circuits talking to the common people on 
public aflfairs, he read these roll-calls with telling effect, 
strengthening as he did it the popular idea of the existence 
of a machine, of the power of vested interest, and of in- 
fidelity among the people's representatives. 

Uninfluenced by the pressure from outside, the Senate 
directed the Committee on Interstate Commerce to sit 
during the recess of 1905 and accumulate data upon the 
problems that needed more adequate control. In the fol- 
lowing winter this report was available in five great volumes, 
the President had renewed his advocacy of legislation, a 
new flood of private bills indicated the desire of Congress- 
men to clear their records before their constituents, and 
some of the bolder legislators claimed that their panaceas 
had the tacit support of the White House. It was danger- 
ous for Congressmen to go too far in this direction of claim- 
ing approval in advance. The political method of the 
President was swift and effective. Again and The Ananias 
again he defended himself by denying the cor- ^^"^ 
rectness of statements of his associates. His denunciation 
of Judge Parker in 1904 was a typical instance. E. H. 
Harriman was later brought within the group, and the 
cartoonists derived much pleasure from their literary cre- 
ation, the ''Ananias Club," into which no man was ad- 
mitted until the President had openly called him a liar. 
But the desire of Congressmen to appear to be associated 
with the President in his attacks upon big business kept 
many of them walking in the danger zone. 

In the spring of 1906 the Hepburn Bill took shape as the 
railroad measure that was to be passed. During its last 
stages, a report from the Bureau of Corpora- xheHep- 
tions on the traffic in petroleum brought con- burn Rail- 

•1 ^ ^t_ J r road Law 

vmcmg evidence as to the need for more power 
in Government, whether the ultimate aim was to be to 
destroy the trust or to control it. A concluding debate 
brought up the question of the relation of railway control 


to the course of justice. The bill as proposed vested in the 
Interstate Commerce Commission the power to fix rates. 
Critics of this declared that such action might easily be- 
come confiscatory, and that rates might be fixed so low 
as to require the roads to do business at a loss. This, 
said Knox, who had withdrawn from the Cabinet to be- 
come Senator from Pennsylvania, would involve a violation 
of the "due process " clause of the Constitution. The most 
successful of the anti- trust jurists, he now led the demand 
for insertion in the bill of a recognized right of judicial 
review whereby the railroads should be entitled to bring 
the fairness of an established rate before the courts. The 
Senate accepted his doctrine. Three times the measure 
went to conference before the two houses could agree, and 
. the bill could become a law on June 29, 1906. 

The Hepburn Act widely extended Government control 
over railroads. Among its most significant clauses from 
the standpoint of regulation was one that empowered the 
Interstate Commerce Commission to establish uniform 
systems of accounting, and to prescribe what books the 
roads should keep, and how they should keep them. A 
lack of genuine comparative knowledge on railroad prob- 
lems impeded railroad control from the start, since no two 
roads kept identical accounts, and none permitted public 
scrutiny. The organization of the new accounting systems 
was worked out in the next few years under the direction of 
Professor Henry Carter Adams, who had long been asso- 
ciated with the Commission as statistician. Adams was 
himself a prot6g6 of Thomas Mortimer Cooley , of Michigan, 
who had done much to define the functions of the Inter- 
state Commerce Commission in its early years. 

As it became clear that legislation for control must be 
expected, railroad practice was generally modified in the 
Abolition of direction of improvement of manners and the 
free passes elimination of abuses. The old practice of the 
railroads' law offices to fight everything was displaced by 
a new desire to compromise and avoid trouble. The Hep- 
bum Act forbade the issuance of private passes, and con- 


tributed directly to the cessation of an old abuse. The 
railroads had ever been the victims of petty graft by pub- 
lic men who demanded free transportation for themselves. 
National conventions expected to be brought together on 
free passes. Editors regarded thejm as among the per- 
quisites of their business, and even among the reform and 
anti-monopoly extremists it is possible to point to individ- 
uals who expected the railroads to transport them without 
charge. The muckrakers believed that the pass system was 
a form of petty bribery. In any event it was a fraud upon 
the stockholders that now rapidly disappeared. 

With the passage of the railroad law the United States 
entered upon a decade of legislation for the extension of 
its powers of control. A second law passed in pure Food 
June, 1906, projected federal power in a new and ^^» *^ 
unexpected direction, for the protection of the public health. 
With the change in habits of life brought about by the revo- 
lution in communication and manufacture in the eighties, 
population drifted from the farms to the cities, and the man- 
ufacture of food went far along its course from the domestic 
basis to the factory basis. In the meat industries the de- 
velopment of the packing companies went hand in hand 
with the rise of the cow country. The refusal of Europe to 
permit the importation of American meats on the ground 
that they were unfit for food gave the incentive to create, 
in 1884, the Bureau of Animal Husbandry to inaugurate a 
policy of federal meat inspection. The creation of the De- 
partment of Agriculture in 1889 and the broadening of meat 
inspection in 1891 are steps in the progressive extension of 
public control over the food of the country. The industrial 
changes, to which the packers contributed, continued with- 
out stop. Factory food displaced home-cooked food, and 
the grocer came to carry a steadily increasing portion of his 
stock in proprietary packages instead of bulk. The cereal 
foods came into line before the Spanish War. Clever in- 
ventions brought into the market shredded wheat, grape- 
nuts, and com flakes, while campaigns of national adver- 
tising, brightened with doggerel and cartoon^ produced a 
market for the package foods. 



The growth of the food industries was attended by risks 
foreseen from an early period. The factory provided no 
substitute for the vigilance of the good housewife in protect- 
ing the quality of food, the standards of preparation, or in 
controlling the use of adulterants. A mild interest in legisla- 
tion within this field can be traced for many years. The 
muckrakers' exploitation of the packing-houses brought it 
within the realm of practical politics in 1906, and legislation 
to protect the purity of food and drugs was placed upon the 
statutes within the control of the Department of Agricul- 
ture. The scientific determination of the value of foods and 
the influence of adulterants and preservatives was still to 
be worked out and manufacturers were still to be convinced 
that the public would consume as readily a jam containing 
artificial coloring and synthetic flavor as the same jam dis- 
honestly labeled as a pure fruit product. The detailed and 
technical work involved in a successful assertion of a policy 
of food control brought into every household a fuller recog- 
nition of the new functions of Government. 

In 1907 Congress paused in its task of constructive legis- 
lation long enough to terminate an old problem by the ad- 
Admission niission of a new State. Nearly a century before, 
of Okia- Congress had entered upon a policy of Indian 

consolidation upon the western frontier. The 
Indian Country was legalized in 1830, placed under the con- 
trol of an Indian Commissioner in 1832, and safeguarded by 
the Indian Intercourse Act of 1834. No sooner had the 
Indian Country been clearly established than the process of 
reducing its area by the creation of new States was begun. 
After 1854 it was reduced to a tract nearly surrounded by 
the States of Kansas, Arkansas, and Texas, and thereafter 
it was generally though incorrectly known as the ''Indian 

The fertile lands between the Red River and the Arkansas, 
dedicated to the Indians in the thirties, aroused the cupidity 
of white settlers half a century later. President after Presi- 
dent proclaimed against the illegal invasion of the area. 
After the Civil War, as a penalty for sympathizing with the 


Confederacy, the Indians forfeited a portion of their lands. 
In the later eighties they sold still more in the process 
whereby their own holdings were reduced to a basis of 
severalty. In the early nineties the lands of Oklahoma 
were opened and the white invasion brought into existence 
a new territory, that before 1900 had aspirations to become 
a state. A long dispute over the basis of statehood was 
waged in the next five years. Should there be one State or 
two, Indian Territory and Oklahoma, or an amalgamation? 
In June, 1906, Congress finally passed an enabling act for 
a single State, and in the winter of 1906-07 the people of 
Oklahoma gathered in their constitutional convention. 

There is no shorter route to an understanding of the con- 
stitutional ideals of any period in American history than 
through the study of the debates whereby a new State 
constitution is created. Every new State has drawn its 
first citizens chiefly from the young and enthusiastic classes 
of its neighboring States. These have invariably begun their 
work with the fundamental acceptance of the underlying 
bases of American government, and have built upon these 
a structure embodying the ideals of the moment. The 
Oklahoma constitution was long, specific, and radical. It 
recognized the duty of the State to extend a protecting 
control over its citizens. It was approved by Bryan with 
his Populistic background, and was criticized by Taft, now 
Secretary of War, from the standpoint of the conservative 
judge. It contained as its novelty in government a scheme 
for the public guarantee of bank deposits, and became the 
forty-sixth State in the Union by proclamation of the Pres- 
ident November 16, 1907. 


Balthazar H. Meyer, The Northern Securities Case (1906), is a careful 
study of the concentration of railroads. Albert H. Walker, History of the 
Sherman Law (1913), and Oswald W. Knauth, Policy of the United States 
towards Industrial Monopoly (1914), give full accounts of the workings of 
the anti- trust laws. Charles R. Van Hise, Concentration and Control ( 19 1 2) , 
presents a solution of the trust problem. Roy Gittinger, History of the 
Formation of the State of Oklahoma (1917), is an adequate narrative. 



The period of prosperity ushered in by President McKin- 
ley outlasted the terms of his Republican successors, Roose- 
Period of velt and Taft. Not until 191 3 was there any 
prosperity general depression in the United States that 
threatened to bring business to a standstill. From time to 
time there were flurries in the stock market that were more 
truly ascribable to over-speculation than to adversity. The 
brief crisis of May, 1901, was occasioned by stock gambling 
incidental to a struggle for the control of the Northern 
Pacific Railway. In October, 1907, there came a somewhat 
larger panic that was ascribed by its sufferers to the med- 
dling of Roosevelt with business, and was called the ** Roose- 
velt panic.** 

The open trouble began with the suspension of the 
Knickerbocker Trust Company in New York on October 22. 
Panic of During the next few days there was uncertainty 
*^7 as to the extent to which the collapse might go. 

A string of Eastern speculative ventures, in whose manage- 
ment there had been an element of fraud, broke down, but 
the clearing-houses of the great cities managed to limit the 
range of suffering. Banks in general restricted their pay- 
ments to depositors to their minimum cash necessities, and 
large numbers of checks were made payable only through 
the clearing-houses. For the time being there was an al- 
most complete suspension of credit, and much hoarding of 
money by private holders. The critics of the President 
scolded at ''Theodore the meddler" and the New York Sun 
gave wide circulation to the motto of business: **Let us 

Whether Roosevelt was responsible or not, the panic 
advertised the fact that the Currency Act of 1900 had 
failed to stabilize the currency. It had provided a policy 


in its enunciation of the gold standard, but had made no 
step toward providing either a currency flexible enough to 
expand and contract with the drains upon it, or a credit 
system properly safeguarding the use of speculative and 
commercial capital. The part played by the clearing- 
houses in mitigating the efl^ects of the panic was both extra- 
legal and salutary. By restricting the payment of checks 
except through the clearing-houses it was possible to carry 
on large transactions without drawing upon the limited 
supply of currency. Solvent banks that found themselves 
without sufficient currency to meet the unexpected demands 
were allowed to resort to clearing-house loans for which 
they put up as collateral approved securities that could not 
be marketed at once. With their clearing-house loans they 
were allowed to pay the balances for which they had no 

The emergency method tided the country through the 
period of panic, and in the following year Congress at- 
tempted to meet a portion of the need by passing the Al- 
drich-Vreeland Act, whereby it was made possible in times 
of emergency to procure and pay for a special emergency 
currency. The Treasury Department printed and kept 
ready for issuance several hundred million dollars of this 
currency to be issued upon collateral when another emer- 
gency should arise. The Aldrich-Vreeland Act did some- 
thing to increase the elasticity of the currency supply, but 
did not touch the question of the safeguarding of credit. 
A monetary commission presided over by Senator Nelson 
W. Aldrich was, however, created to study the fundamen- 
tals of financial legislation. The report of this commission 
was ready for the public in 1912. 

The ''Roosevelt panic** was a sharp reminder of the de- 
fects in the financial system, but those who hoped that it 
might restrain the President in his attacks upon business 
were disappointed. The policies looking toward the ex- 
tension of Government control were pressed steadily toward 
their legislative goals, while in the conservation of national 
resources Roosevelt discovered and popularized a wide 


range over which Government powers, if they existed, 
might be spread. 

The dominant influence that made America different 
from the rest of the world in its first century of independ- 
ence was the possession of an easily accessible 
ance of Open frontier into which society could expand at 

fronTie?'^ will. Natural resources were plentiful and nearly 

free. Timber was so abundant as to be an ob- 
struction to the pioneer. Soil was so fertile that the wheat 
farmer and the cotton planter used up its fertility by single 
cropping, and developed new farms as they discarded old 
ones. Not until the open frontier disappeared, about 
1890, was there any general idea that the resources of na- 
ture were not limitless. Thereafter the idea slowly devel- 
oped that American society would one day approach the 
Land losses Position already reached by most of the coun- 
and conser- tries of Europe, in which it would need to ad- 
minister its resources, not only that posterity 
might be provided for, but in order that it might secure a 
fair distribution for its living citizens. Most of the land 
suitable for general farming purposes was already in private 
hands before the end of the nineteenth century. Water, 
whether used for irrigation, for power, or for transportation, 
was assuming new importance. The timber resources of 
the nation were closely involved with the problems of water 
supply and land, and had been slashed and wasted until 
economists could estimate the number of years when they 
should disappear. The mineral resources were undergoing 
a continuous process of consumption and waste. Metals, 
coal, and oil presented different aspects of the same problem 
of conserving the supply and procuring the maximum use. 
Movements in all of these fields of activity came to a focus 
in Roosevelt's second term. 

The Homestead Law of 1862 gives the character to the 
last phase of the occupation of American farm lands by farm- 
ers. Working upon the doctrine that the frontiersman who 
makes a farm renders a public service, the United States 
proceeded to give homes to citizens willing to cultivate them. 


Before the panic of 1893 most of the desirable lands had 
been taken up, and many subsequent homestead entries ap- 
peared to be partly fraudulent in character. There was a 
provision in the Homestead Law whereby the homesteader 
could pay a minimum cash price for his farm and be relieved 
of the obligations he had incurred, and be free to sell the 
farm. An increasing proportion of commuted homesteads, 
whose entrymen often exercised the privilege to commute 
at the earliest possible date, and sold immediately to great 
timber, grazing, or mining corporations, proved that the 
law was being used for the erection of corporate holdings 
instead of farms for citizens. The bona-fide farmer had 
difficulty in finding suitable farms, but there remained 
abundant land in the Far West, rich in promise if its arid- 
ity could be overcome. 

There was slight interest in irrigation until after the open 
farms had been exhausted. The creation of the United 
States Geological Survey in 1879 brought to- . . 
gether for the first time a group of Government 
scientists interested in, and competent to devise schemes 
for, the reclamation of the arid lands. The peculiar fertility 
of many of these lands lay in the fact that they were in a 
region of constant sunshine where crops could grow for more 
than a normal number of days per year; and also in that, 
having little rainfall, the accumulated fertility of the soil had 
not been washed away. About 1889 Congress authorized a 
survey of irrigation sites in the United States, which Major 
J. W. Powell, of the Geological Survey, carried out. 

The construction of irrigation works was a financial and 
engineering task beyond the capacity of the pioneer farmer. 
Small groups of associated farmers could do something, but 
in general there was needed permanent direction and large 
means procurable only through great corporations. When 
Roosevelt became President there was pending in Congress 
a measure looking toward Government participation in this 
work, led by Senator Francis G. Newlands, of Nevada. 
Western Congressmen were urging the creation of a rec- 
.lamation fund to be appropriated by the United States, 


and to be used for the construction of dams, tunnels, and 
ditches. The costs of construction were to be assessed over 
the farms brought under ditch in each irrigation project, 
and as the individual farmer bought his farm and paid off 
the debt, his payments were to go into the revolving fund 
for reinvestment. The Newlands Bill became a law June 
17, 1902, at once an extension of governmental control over 
a huge scientific engineering task, and an assertion of a new 
interest in the use of the natufal resources that remained. 
By 1909 nearly eight thousand farms had actually been 
brought under ditch and new projects were in course of 
development throughout the arid region. In 1903 President 
Roosevelt appointed a commission to study the nature of 
the remaining public lands and to report upon their proper 

The work of the Reclamation Service developed the im- 
portance of dam-sites and water power, which were soon 
Control shown to be entangled with the use of the inland 

of water waterways for transportation. The Bureau of 
powers Corporations made it its business to study the 

ownership of water power, and discovered that not only was 
there potential water power sufficient to meet all the me- 
chanical needs of the United States, thus relieving the drain 
on coal and oil, but that undeveloped sites were rapidly 
being acquired by the General Electric, the Westinghouse, 
and other corporations interested in hydro-electric power. 
In many cases the control of this lay outside the power of 
the United States. Water rights lying within single States 
and disconnected with the public domain called for State 
control or none, but there was work to be done in show- 
ing the difference between proper and improper methods 
of control, and in the passage of a suitable law for water 
powers belonging to the Government. The dam built 
across the Mississippi River at Keokuk brought to the fore 
both the complex nature of the water problem and its rela- 
tions to inland navigation. 

The building of the dam at Keokuk called attention to 
the fact that the old glory of the Mississippi had faded away^ 


and that in the fifty years elapsed since the completion of 
the first bridge across it at Davenport, the rail- 
road had possessed itself of the heavy traffic that iption — 
the river had borne. Mark Twain, at the sum- ^llf^?^*®®**' 
mit of his glory, and honored with the degree 
of D.C.L. of Oxford, escorted the presidential party that 
cruised down the Mississippi after the ceremonies at the 
site of the Keokuk dam; but the river traffic that he had 
known in his youth, and perpetuated in Tom Sawyer and 
Life on the Mississippi, was nothing but a reminiscence. 
Along the line of the Mississippi and the Ohio local interests 
from time to time urged that the steamboat commerce be 
revived. The Mississippi itself had been brought under 
physical control by the United States. Levees had been 
constructed at all the danger points, the channels at the 
mouth had been made clear, and there was nothing to 
prevent a revival of the steamboat trade. This, it was sug- 
gested, might serve both to offer an effective competition 
to the railroads and to reduce the consumption of coal for 
transportation. In March, 1907, Roosevelt appointed an 
Inland Waterways Commission to survey these unused 
transportation routes and to report upon their revival. 

Out of the work of the Inland Waterways Commission 
there arose the suggestion that the problem of conserving 
the natural resources was too large for any one Forest 
conmiission, too intricate for any single group of ^^^^^^ 
scientists, and too close to the public interest to be solved 
without the full concurrence of all sections and parties. 
The chief of the forestry service, Gifford Pinchot, had much 
to do with the formulation of the suggestion. An intimate 
friend of Roosevelt, he was one of the inner group with 
whom the President played tennis and indulged in cross- 
country tramps, and he had for many years brought into 
the service of the Government an understanding of the 
best foreign practice in the administration of forests. Con- 
gress had, in 1891, authorized the President to withdraw 
the forest lands from entry in the public domain. By the 
close of Harrison's Administration there were 17,564,800 


acres in the national forest. Cleveland increased the forest 
reserves to 18,993,280 acres, McKinley to 46,828,449, while 
Roosevelt multiplied the area several fold, and increased 
the total to 172,230,233 acres before he left office. The 
forests were so closely involved in the problems of river 
flow, soil waste, and timber conservation, that it was nat- 
ural for the forestry group to assume a leadership in the 
new movement. 

On May 13, 1908, there met at the White House a con- 
ference to which the governors of all the States had been 
Conserva- invited, and which most of them attended ac- 
tion confer- companied by scientific advisers, business men, 

ence IQ08 • 

and political leaders. For three days this con- 
ference maintained its sessions, and continued its discus- 
sions of the natural resources of the United States and the 
problems involved in their management. Never before had 
the governors been gathered for a national purpose, and 
there were numerous suggestions that out of this meeting 
there might arise a sort of house of governors to supple- 
ment the deliberations of Congress. Members of Congress 
watched the conference with much suspicion, because of 
their unfamiliarity with the subject-matter under discus- 
sion, and their fear that new policies in conservation might 
upset political and business interests of long standing. 
They showed this suspicion in their treatment of the con- 
servation movement. 

A few days after the White House conference had adver- 
tised at once the new national movement and Roosevelt's 
interest in it, the President appointed a National Conser- 
vation Commission of forty-nine members selected about 
equally from the fields of politics, industry, and science. 
This commission organized in the autumn of 1908 for a study 
of the minerals, waters, forests, and soils of the United 
States. In more than forty States local conservation com- 
missions were appointed and in operation before the end of 
1909 supplementing by their studies the work of the na- 

onal commission. In December, the commission held 
ational conference before which a draft of its report was 


presented, and early in 1909 President Roosevelt trans- 
mitted this report to Congress. 

The work of the commission revealed the political 
methods of Roosevelt, and the suspicions prevailing in 
Congress. The commission was appointed without legal 
authority, and served without compensation. Since Con- 
gress had provided no funds for its clerical assistance, 
Roosevelt directed each of the executive departments when 
called upon by the commission to provide the information it 
desired. In this way it was possible for the commission to 
include in its report three volumes of technical papers on the 
different resources. Congress, however, jealous of its prerog- 
atives and suspicious of the work in question, refused an 
appropriation to provide wide circulation to the report. 
The President declared in January, 1909, that the "under- 
lying principle of conservation" was **the application of 
common sense to common problems for the common gofcd." 
But Congress attached to one of the appropriation bills a 
proviso forbidding the executive departments in the future 
to render scientific assistance to such a commission as this. 

The National Conservation Commission attracted wide 
attention to the problem before it. Among the special im- 
mediate needs that it pointed out was legislation Bureau 
to control the mining of coal. Throughout a °^ ^^^^ 
wide extent of the public domain coal deposits were known 
or suspected to exist. The early land laws had provided 
for the classification of public lands as coal lands or agricul- 
tural, but no attempt had been made to prevent the oc- 
cupation of lands as agricultural when their value was 
chiefly with reference to their underlying coal. From the 
reports of the General Land Office it appeared that large 
areas of coal lands were being alienated as agricultural 
lands, and that the Homestead Law was being perverted 
by collusion between entrymen and speculators, whereby 
great coal interests were being built up in private hands, 
and the United States was being deprived of this portion of 
its common heritage. In 1909 Congress modified the land 
laws so as to provide for the separate sale of the agricultural, 


timber, and mineral resources of the land, and the next year 
the Bureau of Mines was created to give systematic study 
to the problems connected with this industry. 

Once the importance of conservation had come to his 
attention, Rooseyelt exerted his powers to protect the 
Supervision public interest. He had no lawful power to 
of busincM dispose properly of the timber or mineral lands, 
or water rights, but he at least had power to determine what 
public lands should remain on the market for open entry. 
He accordingly proceeded with surveys to discover the 
resources of the remaining public lands. He entrusted to 
the recognized powers of the Forestry and Reclamation 
Services whatever was suitable for them, and the remaining 
acreage he withdrew from entry with the intention of hold- 
ing it in the national domain until Congress should take 
action to safeguard the public interest. In his later writings 
he regarded his work for conservation as the most important 
of his Administration. Its effect upon public opinion was to 
raise new hopes of effective governmental action, and to add 
to the uncertainties with which business regarded the future. 
The trend of Government control had already established the 
fact that business must expect to be supervised. The idea 
of conservation suggested that great fields hitherto open to 
private exploitation were hereafter to be closed. Public in- 
terest had been asserted as a factor to be respected in all 
business, and to this was now added the interests of posterity. 


The most useful general works on conservation are Charles R. Van Hise, 
Conservation of Natural Resources (1910); William E. Smythe, Conquest of 
Arid America (1900); Frederick H. Newell, Irrigation in the United States 
(1902). There are numerous useful illustrated articles in the National 
Geographic Magazine, The Report of the National Conservation Com- 
mission was published in a small edition as 6oth Cong., 2d Sess., Sen. E)oc. 
676; that of the Public Lands Commission as 58th Cong., 3d Sess., Sen. 
Doc. 189; that of the Inland Waterways Commission as 6oth Cong., ist 
Sess., Sen. Doc. 325. The point of view of the West toward conservation 
is revealed in the Proceedings of the Public Land Convention held in 
Denver, Colorado, June 18, 19, 20, 1907 (Denver, 1907). The Annual 
Reports of the Forestry Service, the Reclamation Service, and the Com- 
missioner of the General Land Office are, of course, indispensable. 



Before the disturbance occasioned by the panic of 1907 
had subsided and had revealed the panic as a squall rather 
than a storm, President Roosevelt embarked American 
upon a new venture in the field of foreign rela- t>attle fleet 
tions. On December 16, 1907, a fleet of American battle- 
ships left its anchorage at Hampton Roads for a voyage 
around the Americas to northern Pacific waters and with 
the ultimate intent to cruise around the world. The navy 
of 1907, much stronger than the new navy whose units be- 
haved so well in the Spanish War, was now able to send to 
sea the heaviest battle flotilla that the world had seen. 
Sixteen new battleships under Robley D. Evans, who had 
commanded the Iowa at Santiago, with the accompanying 
tenders and supply ships, tested out the organization of the 
Navy Department and the fidelity of the work that had 
been done since 1895. ^^ February, 1909, the fleet re- 
turned intact and triumphant, having completed a demon- 
stration that impressed every foreign office in the world, 
and strengthened the general interest in the new rules of 
naval warfare, which were signed on February 26, 1909, by 
delegates at the international naval conference at London. 
The significance of the circumnavigation of the world by 
the new fleet of battleships was variously interpreted as a 
menace of war and an act of peace. The project was un- 
dertaken on Roosevelt's responsibility alone. When the 
fleet started no funds had been appropriated to take it 
across the Pacific, or even to bring it back from the Pacific 
waters to which the President had sent it. Its mission to 
the Orient was ostensibly a friendly visit, but the President 
was by no means certain that it would not be attacked, and 
had prepared the fleet for fighting. He had observed what 
he interpreted to be an air of truculence in the correspond- 


ence of Japan, and had been advised by informal friends 
that the time would come when Japan would contest 
American power in the Philippines and at Hawaii. If 
Japan should seize this moment to declare war, he believed 
there would be a national advantage in being ready for it. 
If there should be no attack, he believed it equally advan- 
tageous to have made a demonstration of strength in Orien- 
tal waters. At the time, however, the public was left to 
draw its own inferences as to the meaning of the venture, 
and, as it worked out, the' voyage was provocative of 
friendly international relationships, and revealed an un- 
hoped-for capacity in the naval organization. 

The fleet of 1907, though able to make the most impres- 
sive naval demonstration yet seen, was none the less nearly 
obsolete. The great powers had ceased laying down the 
keels of vessels of the battleship class, and were instead 
experimenting with dreadnaughts. In July, 1908, a Navy 
Department conference at Newport worked in secret upon 
the designs for four new dreadnaughts, and when the keels 
of these were laid. North Dakota, Delaware, Utah, and 
Florida, it was believed that no better ships were under 
construction anywhere. The first of these was commis- 
sioned in 1910. By the end of 1916 thirteen were in com- 
mission and four more were building, and the great armada 
of 1907 had become at best a second line. Within the Navy 
Department improvement in organization progressed with 
naval architecture. The complete independence of the 
several bureaus that lessened the capacity for team-work, 
and developed all of the forces for inertia, was under con 
tinuous fire. In 191 5 a new Bureau of Naval Operations 
was created to act as a general staff for the navy under 
command of William S. Benson, with the rank of admiral. 

Reorganization proceeded in the War Department as in 
the navy. Under the General Staff Act of February 14, 
Warde- I9^3» it was sought to increase the efficiency of 
partment the army by the organization of a corps whose 
c anges duty should be to prepare war plans and super- 
vise their execution. The new procedure had to fight its 


way against the opposition of the older officers, and the 
political interference occasioned by their friends in Con- 
gress. Year after year, however, the schools at Fort 
Leavenworth and the War College in Washington grad- 
uated their little groups of army specialists. The rule that 
forbade officers to stay on administrative detail away from 
their troops for more than four years out of six, weakened 
the power of the **Manchu" class. One of these, it was 
declared, had been on a single staff duty for forty-three 
years. With the consistent support of President Roosevelt 
and his secretaries, the new type of officer and of army 
organization was given a chance to establish itself. Every 
year the older type became less numerous through retire- 
ments, and every year a large percentage of the young men 
had a new conception of their duties. General S. B. M. 
Young, the first chief of staff, was succeeded by Adna R. 
Chaffee, and he in succession by John C. Bates, J. Franklin 
Bell, Leonard Wood, William W. Wotherspoon, and Hugh 
L. Scott, who was in office at the entry into the World War 
in 191 7. It was not possible in these years to produce 
from Congress a more thoroughgoing army act than Root 
had evoked while Secretary of War, but within the General 
Staff there was developed an idea of what an army ought to 
be that was ready for the test in 191 7, and was not found 

When Root temporarily retired from the Cabinet in 1904, 
Roosevelt recalled William Howard Taft from the Philip- 
pine Islands to take his place as Secretary of Taft and 
War. Under Taft's administration the Philip- *^^ colonies 
pines had been progressing toward orderly government and 
self-government. Natives of the islands were admitted to 
seats upon the governing commission, and plans were laid 
for the ultimate establishment of a native assembly. Judge 
Taft was successful not only in pacifying the islanders, 
but in carrying on a negotiation with the Vatican, At 
the date of the Treaty of Paris a large proportion of the 
area of the Philippine Islands was owned by the various 
orders of the Catholic Church. Through the diplomatic 


negotiation of Taft the title to these was settled by agree- 
ment in 1903. The sanitary work in Cuba was duplicated 
in the Philippines, and the establishment of schools upon 
the American plan was followed by a revival of the ancient 
university at Manila. A new generation was started with 
no recollection of Spanish rule, speaking English and con- 
scious of the processes of American government. The 
erection of the Filipino Assembly in 1907 was followed by a 
steady increase in the proportion of Filipinos in Govern- 
ment offices and on the Council. By 191 6 the local control 
of insular affairs was in every direction in the hands of 
native islanders. 

World politics continued to call for American interven- 
tion as Roosevelt rebuilt the tools of national defense. 
The Treaty of Portsmouth, signed on September 5, 1905, 
drew the United States into world affairs as moderator, 
and gained for Roosevelt the following year the award of 
the Nobel prize for services to the cause of peace. 

The war between Japan and Russia that was ended in 
this treaty broke out in 1904, with Japan assuming the 
Ru88o-Tap- aggressive to prevent the continuous encroach- 
anese War ment of Russia. Ten years earlier Japan had 
shown her strength as a modem military power by crushing 
the resistance of China within a few weeks. The Treaty of 
Shimonoseki, in 1895, brought her little reward, since the 
European powers exerted pressure to moderate her terms. 
In the next few years they extended their own holdings in 
northern China, and Russia pushed to completion her rail- 
road to the Pacific. With its main line running to a 
terminus at Vladivostok, Russia laid hands upon Man- 
churia and built a branch line extending to Port Arthur. 
Repeated pledges to return Manchuria to China were 
followed by repeated acts for the strengthening of the 
defenses of Port Arthur. In February, 1904, Japan de- 
clared war against Russia, and John Hay began diplomatic 
pressure to limit the area of hostilities and to safeguard 
China by a recognition of her neutrality and her "admin- 
istrative entity" by both belligerents. By the spring of 


1905 Japan gained notable victories over Russia, whose 
army operated at a disadvantage at the terminus of the 
single-track Siberian railway, and whose naval force col- 
lapsed. The successes of Japan brought both her mate- 
rial and her financial resources to the verge of exhaustion. 
Both belligerents were anxious for peace if it could be 
obtained without seeming to invite it. 

On June 8, 1905, began the negotiation of a peace. "I 
first satisfied myself," said Roosevelt, "that each side 
wished me to act, but that, naturally and properly, each 
side was exceedingly anxious that the other side should not 
believe that the action was taken on its initiative. I then 
sent an identical note to the two powers." The move- 
ment thus started advanced rapidly toward consummation. 
Commissioners were appointed on both sides to negoti- 
ate peace, and through the summer of 1905 they sat at 
the Portsmouth Navy Yard, in New Hampshire, after a 
formal reception on the presidential yacht, Mayflower, at 
Oyster Bay. More than once during the conference the 
danger of a deadlock appeared, but as the weeks advanced 
the President exerted continuous pressure to produce an 
agreement. Japan found England willing to renew the 
treaty of alliance of 1902; and Russia, experimenting with 
self-government and the first phases of revolution, felt the 
need of peace. The conclusion of the treaty prepared the 
way for a resumption by the powers of the negotiation 
begun at The Hague in 1899, but before the Second Hague 
Conference convened, Europe was brought to the verge of 
war by the crisis at Morocco. 

The status of Morocco involved the interests of England, 
France, and Germany. England and France had agreed 
in 1904 that France should be responsible for Algeciras 
the maintenance of order there. The German Conference 
Empire, anxious to break up the new friendly relations be- 
tween England and France, insisted upon independence for 
Morocco, or international control. In March, 1905, the 
Emperor visited the Sultan at Tangier *'to make it known 
that I am determined to do all in my power to safeguard 


efficaciously the interests of Germany in Morocco." The 
result of this dramatic ** rattling of the saber" was a general 
conference on the Moroccan question held at Algeciras in 
January, 1906. The work of the conference has an im- 
portant bearing upon European rivalries that were already 
leading Europe toward a general war. The United States 
was represented, and may even have caused the conference; 
the newly acquired interest in world politics was recognized 
by the rest of the powers ; and the Administration recognized 
the American share in the responsibility for international 

The first conference at The Hague adjourned in 1899 in 
the hope that it might be followed by a second confer- 
Second ^^^^ which should continue its discussion of the 
Hague laws of war, the reduction of armaments, and 
the arbitration of controversies. The court of 
justice created by the conference was seldom used until the 
United States appeared there as a litigant in the contro- 
versy with Mexico over the Pius fund, and induced the 
European powers to bring thither their claims against 
Venezuela. President Roosevelt determined in 1904 to 
summon a second conference, and Hay issued a preliminary 
note to that effect, but the Russo-Japanese War made the 
date inappropriate, while Russia indicated a desire to invite 
the conference. Upon the signature of the Treaty of Ports- 
mouth, the Russian ambassador, Baron Rosen, brought up 
the matter, with the result that on June 15, 1907, the 
delegates convened at The Hague. Among the topics sug- 
gested for discussion the limitation of armaments was the 
most important. England, just embarking upon the con- 
struction of the early dreadnaughts, was anxious to reach 
some agreement to lessen the cost of the naval rivalry. 
The American delegates, headed by Joseph H. Choate, were 
ready to support this movement, but the continental powers 
were found to be unwilling to entrust their safety to any- 
thing but their own armed forces. The Algeciras episode 
intensified the French fear of German attack, while in Ger- 
many the military party was deliberately relying upon war 


and conquest as a means of securing national advantage. 
The American delegation presented the old American ideal 
of the exemption of private property from capture at sea. 
The South American delegations supported the doctrine of 
their publicist, Drago, that the forcible collection of pri- 
vate international debts must be forbidden. 

The work of the second conference was summed up in 
several conventions relating to the pacific settlement of 
international disputes, the Drago doctrine, and the laws of 
war. An attempt to create a real court of arbitral justice 
was defeated by the inability of the conference to agree 
upon the selection of its judges. It was determined to hold 
a conference upon maritime warfare in the near future, and 
to hold a third great conference at The Hague at a suitable 

The naval conference was initiated by Great Britain in 
1908 and convened in the following winter with ten naval 
powers represented. The Declaration of Lon- jj^^ Deda- 
don that it formulated was proposed to the ration of 
world in 1909 as an interpretation of the "gen- 
erally recognized principles of international, law." Its 
seventy articles covered blockade, contraband, unneutral 
service, enemy character, and search. It was never rati- 
fied, even England withholding its formal approval, but it 
was accepted as a statement of the general trend of inter- 
national maritime law. 

Each year after 1900 the United States became more 
closely involved in the intricacies of world politics, and 
each year brought closer the date at which the United 
States would be free from the restrictions placed upon its 
policies by the lack of a waterway across the Isthmus of 
Panama. The negotiations with England with reference 
to the new canal were concluded in 1901 upon terms which 
left the United States free to choose the means and meth- 
ods of construction. Immediately Hay took up with the 
Republic of Colombia negotiations for the transfer of the 
rights that were controlled by the French Canal Company 
at Panama, and Congress took up the question of route 


and method of construction. As the debate progressed in 
Congress the advocates of a route by way of the San Juan 
River and Lake Nicaragua came to open issue with the 
friends of the Panama route, who were headed by Senator 
Hanna and President Roosevelt. Unable to command a' 
vote in Congress for either route, it was agreed in June, 
1902, that the President should have authority to select 
the route. 

Early in 1903 Hay signed with the Colombian Minister, 
Herran, an agreement authorizing the United States to 
take over the French concession at Panama, and to control 
the zone through which the canal should run. There had 
already been excitement and dismay among the owners of 
the French company because of a recommendation from a 
commission of engineers headed by Rear-Admiral John G. 
Walker that the extortionate price demanded by the canal 
company for its property made it preferable for the United 
States to turn from Panama and build at Nicaragua. 
The French company immediately discovered that forty 
million dollars would be a suitable price instead of one 
hundred and twenty millions. The Walker commission 
changed its recommendation accordingly, and the signa- 
ture of the Hay-Herran Treaty was regarded as removing 
the last of the diplomatic obstacles. In the Senate, how- 
ever. Senator Morgan, of Alabama, who believed in the 
Nicaragua route, led a filibuster that prevented ratification 
in the current session. The President immediately called a 
special session of the Senate in March, 1903, at which the 
Hay-Herran Treaty was ratified. 

There was no satisfaction with the treaty in Colombia, 
where the opponents of the Administration that had nego- 
tiated it charged variously that ten millions cash and an 
annuity of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year 
was not a sufficient price for the right of way; that it was 
unconstitutional to grant the exclusive jurisdiction over 
the canal zone involved in the treaty ; and that it was Presi- 
dent Marroquin's intention to appropriate the sum for pri- 
vate purposes rather than to turn it into the Treasury. 


For one reason or another action by the Colombian Congress 
was delayed throughout the sununer of 1903, and that body 
adjourned in the end of October permitting the treaty to 
die without action. 

While Colombia delayed to pledge herself with reference 
to the canal, American opinion fretted, and the French 
owners of the concession despaired, because in 1904 their 
rights would lapse and the unfinished enterprise would re- 
vert to the ownership of Colombia in accordance with the 
terms of their contract. In the autumn President Roosevelt 
prepared a message for Congress recommending the seizure 
of the canal zone by the United States on the ground that 
the work contemplated was in the interests of "collective 
civilization." About the same time he wrote a private 
letter expressing a wish that the State of Panama would 
secede from Colombia and negotiate directly for the canal 
rights, but declared that his official position debarred him 
from acting toward this end. 

The French Canal Company was already acting in the 
same direction. Its agent, Bunau-Varilla, visited Washing- 
ton and learned that if public disorder arose on jj,g 
the isthmus, the United States would regard it Panama 
as its duty under a treaty with New Granada 
(Colombia) of 1846 to intervene to maintain order, even 
though this intervention should restrain Colombia from 
suppressing her insurgents. This was as much as the in- 
habitants of Panama desired. On November 3, 1903, a 
quick and bloodless revolt took place, the independence of 
the isthmus was proclaimed, an American naval force pre- 
vented the landing of Colombian troops to put it down, 
and Roosevelt's message advocating seizure became un- 
necessary. A few days later the Republic of Panama was 
recognized at Washington, and by a treaty of November 
18, 1903, conceded to the United States everything that 
Colombia had refused. 

Roosevelt continued until his death to defend the equity 
of his treatment of Colpmbia. He acted immediately upon 
the new condition created by the Panama treaty, and in 


the spring of 1904 began the work of actual construction of 
Canal con- the canal. On the engineering side there was 
stniction sharp difference of opinion respecting the mer- 
its of a sea-level canal or one with locks. The latter type 
was determined upon because of the less cost and shorter 
period required for construction. The French company 
had already done much of the preliminary excavation, but 
had learned little about sanitation in the tropics. Its Euro- 
pean engineers and workmen had died like flies in the huts 
along the route of the canal. The sanitary renovation 
of the Zone was among the earliest of the American tasks 
and in this Colonel Gorgas applied what had been learned 
in Cuba, until the healthful conditions of the Zone became, 
in the opinion of Sir Frederick Treves, a triumph for pre- 
ventive medicine. 

The administrative control of construction was vex- 
atious because the task called for executive direction, 
while Congress wished the control to be through a com- 
mission. One engineer after another resigned the task 
until finally George W. Goethals, a major in the regular 
army, was made chairman and chief engineer in 1907. The 
rest of the members of the commission were appointed by 
the President, subject to their promise never to disagree 
with the chairman; by which means the commission was 
turned into an executive agency. " Damn the law. I want 
the canal built," Roosevelt is said to have remarked to 
Goethals as he entrusted him with the task. Five times 
before 1910 Taft went to Panama to inspect the progress 
of the work of construction, and in 1906 Roosevelt himself 
established a new precedent for Presidents by leaving the 
territory of the United States in order to visit the work 
that he had so vigorously advanced. 


James Brown Scott, The Hague Peace Conferences of i8qq and igoy 
(1909), and William I. Hull, The Two Hague Conferences and their Contribu- 
tion to International Law (1908), contain a narrative of American participa- 
tion at The Hague. In the American Journal of International Law (1907-) 
there may be found special articles on most aspects of current diplomatic 


relations as well as texts of the basic documents. Joseph B. Bishop, 
The Panama Gateway (19 13), is a popular account. There are many 
details in the writings of Philippe Bunau-Varilla, Panama : The Creation^ 
Destruction, and Resurrection (1914), and The Great Adventure of Panama 
and its Relation to the World War (1920). Roosevelt's Autobiography is, of 
course, of value, as well as Root's addresses which have been collected 
under the title The Military and Colonial Policy of the United States (1916). 




The Sixtieth Congress, the last of the Roosevelt Adminis- 
tration, sat from 1907 to 1909. The acts passed and those 
Political ^^^^ ^^ rejected indicated clearly the trend of 
manners, events within the Republican Party as the time 
1900-1909 approached for another presidential election. 
The breach that had been healed in 1904, after the death 
of Hanna, was now wide open, as "stand-pat" Republicans 
strove to bring about the nomination of a conservative 
candidate, and to put an end to the period of executive 
action and interference with business. Manners as well as 
policies were involved in the breach. The aggressive as- 
surance of Roosevelt alienated his enemies and was trying 
even to his friends. The rapidity with which he reached 
decisions and acted upon them startled and embarrassed 
many of his associates. The readiness with which he called 
men liars and asserted that all honest men agreed with him 
alienated within his own party many who would have 
preferred to act in harmony with him. 

The succession in 1908 was not complicated by any 
prospect that Roosevelt would again be a candidate. Dur- 
ing the campaign of 1904 there had been much mild dis- 
cussion as to how he would stand with reference to the 
national tradition against three terms. Technically his 
first period as President was McKinley's term and not his 
own. On election night, after enough returns were in to 
indicate that his vote had run away from Judge Parker, 
and that his election was assured, he voluntarily answered 
the question in these words: **On the 4th of March next I 
shall have served three and a half years, and this three and 
a half years constitutes my first term. The wise custom 
which limits the President to two terms regards the sub- 
stance and not the form, and under no circumstances will 


I be a candidate for or accept another nomination." Re- 
peatedly in the next four years he reiterated this announce- 
ment, and found the leaders of his party ready to take him 
at his word. 

For twelve years, by 1909, individual party leaders had 
been submerged beneath the personalities of McKinley 
and Roosevelt, and the rigor of party discipline. The en- 
thusiasm with which public opinion, regardless of parties, 
approved the ** Roosevelt policies*' made it difficult for 
other individuals than Roosevelt to command attention. 
The list of possibilities discussed in the months preceding 
the campaign reveals the diversity of opinion that had 
developed within the dominant party. 

The leading names among the '* stand-pat" candidates 
were Joseph G. Cannon, Charles W. Fairbanks, and Joseph 
Benson Foraker. Cannon was now Speaker in Republican 
his third term, and possessed a wide and homely ^^^^^^ 
popularity together with the complete confidence of con- 
servative Republicans. Fairbanks was Vice-President, an 
austere-appearing Indiana politician, who made no claim 
to popularity and enjoyed none. Foraker, of Ohio, was 
among the last of the spell-binders of the Civil War regime. 
Belonging to the generation of Garfield, Hanna, and Mc- 
Kinley, Foraker saw himself for more than twenty years 
within reach of national preferment and just missing it. His 
hopes as a nominee of the available type were forcibly de- 
ferred when McKinley became the '* advance agent of pros- 
perity" in the early nineties. When Hanna desired to enter 
politics as Senator, Foraker found himself again forced to 
step aside. In the fall of 1907 he formally announced his 
candidacy, and announced himself as favoring the tariff 
and the independence of the Senate, and as opposing rail- 
way rate regulation and the liberal construction of the Con- 
stitution. Once more he found himself with ambitions 
blocked by another Ohio leader, William Howard Taft. 

Not a candidate himself. President Roosevelt was in a 
position to throw the nomination nearly as he pleased. The 
trend of politics made it easy for a President of influence to 


exert strong pressure on the National Convention. The 
Republican Party maintained a political organization 
throughout the South from which it neither expected nor 
received electoral votes. In Republican administrations 
the handful of Southern Republicans received their reward 
in federal appointments. Roosevelt appears to have been 
in conference on this theme on the first day of his presi- 
dency. Whether the Republican appointees were good or 
bad, they could not be representative of the people among 
whom they served, and when they elected themselves as 
delegates to the national nominating convention, they 
tended to bring into that body a block of votes subservient 
to the President to whom they owed their jobs. With 
these delegates to start with, and with a wide popular ap- 
proval of his policies, Roosevelt was able to block the hopes 
of candidates whom he disliked and advance those of his 

Three names were most commonly mentioned as likely 
to secure the support of the President, Charles Evans 
Hughes, Hughes, William Howard Taft, and Elihu Root 
Taft, and whom Roosevelt regarded as the ablest man he 

had known in public life. The reconstruction 
of the War Department and the administrative organi- 
zation of the new colonies were accomplished by Root. As 
Secretary of State he had taken over the difficult foreign 
problems that were pending when John Hay surrendered 
his portfolio. In the Orient he proved himself a firm and 
tactful negotiator, reaching a general understanding with 
Japan about her immigration into the United States and her 
relations with China. In 1907 he visited the Latin- Ameri- 
can countries to interpret in a friendly way the position of 
the United States and to moderate their suspicions that had 
been stirred up by the Panama affair. But whatever his 
strength, he was unavailable to receive presidential sup- 
port for the nomination. His whole life until 1899 had been 
spent as a corporation lawyer in New York, and his business 
affiliations were regarded as too vulnerable to permit him 
to be nominated upon a Roosevelt platform. He accepted 


instead election to the Senate from New York, entering 
upon his term in 1909. The friends of Governor Charles 
E. Hughes, of New York, hoped that he might receive presi- 
dential endorsement. Governor Hughes was a practicing 
attorney in New York City when in 1905 he was called upon 
to act as counsel for the Armstrong Committee of the New 
York Legislature, appointed to investigate the conduct and 
management of the insurance companies. He speedily be- 
came the responsible director of the investigation, showing 
unusual skill in extracting facts from reluctant witnesses, 
and in uncovering the distasteful story of the intrigue of 
business in politics. Before the investigation was com- 
pleted he was suggested as mayor of New York City, which 
he declined to consider; but in 1906 he was nominated for 
governor by a convention in which there was no delegate in- 
structed for him, and no partisan politician who desired 
him. In the following election he defeated William Ran- 
dolph Hearst; and he took office with the magnates of his 
party hostile to him. His career as governor made him a 
marked national figure. No Republican had given more 
convincing proof of his determination to establish the people 
in control of their government and the government in con- 
trol of business malpractice. Roosevelt was unwilling to 
support him for the nomination because he believed him 
too independent of the party organization, and disliked his 
tendency to play a lone hand. 

William Howard Taft was announced as Roosevelt's 
choice in 1907. For nearly twenty years his career as an 
administrator and judge had brought him into intimate 
contact with two sides of government. A son of Judge 
Alphonso Taft, of Cincinnati, who had sat in Grant's Cab- 
inet for a time, he had been an honor man at Yale and a 
judge in the superior court of Ohio before Harrison made 
him Solicitor-General in the Department of Justice at the 
age of thirty-three. Before McKinley sent him to the Phil- 
ippines ten years later, Taft had lived in Washington and 
had sat upon the federal bench. In the labor controversies 
of the nineties he showed judicial courage in asserting the 


powers of Government over the obstructions of organized 
labor, and a little later his decisions brought the trusts 
within the jurisdiction of the Sherman Act. Roosevelt 
while Vice-President described him as a suitable governor 
of the Philippines, asserting that that task called for all the 
qualifications that would make a good President or a sound 
Chief Justice. It was toward the Supreme Court that Taf t's 
own inclinations pointed, but he was forced twice to let 
the opportunity go because of administrative duties in 
hand in the islands or the War Department. Never did a 
group of statesmen work more harmoniously than Roose- 
velt with Root and Taft. *'Athos" and **Porthos" were 
the nicknames of his favorite secretaries, used sometimes 
in their informal correspondence; and it requires little imagi- 
nation to ascribe to Roosevelt the name of the hero of the 
Three Musketeers — **D'Artagnan." 

At times between 1905 and 1909 Taft was described as 
the traveling secretary of the President because of the fre- 
quency with which he was sent to represent Roosevelt on 
political missions, or to ** sit on the lid " — a task for which 
his figure seemed to make him singularly appropriate. He 
was officially in charge of the American intervention in 
Cuba, 1906-09; he often visited the Panama Canal to re- 
port on progress in construction; he carried on negotia- 
tions with the Vatican in Rome, made visits of courtesy 
in Japan, and opened the Philippine Assembly in 1907. 
As a presidential candidate he was doubly strong. He 
had become an intimate agent of the Roosevelt program 
and a supporter of its policies, which made him acceptable 
as a progressive leader. On the other hand, as judge and 
administrator he had shown a firnmess and a judicial tem- 
per that brought to him the confidence of those conserva- 
tives who thought Roosevelt too impulsive. His candi- 
dacy was pushed persistently by the President as the date 
for the Republican Convention approached, and accord- 
ing to the rumor among the Washington correspondents, 
the matter was clinched by asseverations from the White 
House of **Taft or me," 


The Republican nominations of 1908 were made at Chi- 
cago with Roosevelt in complete control of the convention. 
The platform had been prepared in Washing- Taftand 
ton and was given to the press even before the Sherman 
convention met. Conservative Republicans found no op- 
portunity to organize their hostility to Roosevelt, and the 
progressive Republicans had no chance to incorporate any 
planks not acceptable to the President. Taft was nomi- 
nated on the first ballot; James Schoolcraft Sherman, a 
conservative New York Republican, who had sat in nine 
Congresses, was nominated as Vice-President. The friends 
of Hughes were unable to make any impression on the con- 
vention, and in the autumn Hughes was renominated and 
reelected governor of New York. 

Between the Republican and Democratic National Con- 
ventions Grover Cleveland died, on June 24, 1908. The 
last eleven years of his life had carried him into Death of 
a position of dignity and popularity. He re- Cleveland 
tired to Princeton upon leaving the White House in 1897 
and there engaged in literary enterprises and public service. 
The esteem which both parties denied him as President 
came to him out of office. In 1904 there was even talk 
among Democrats who especially feared Bryan of urging 
him for another Democratic nomination. He gave no 
countenance to this, however, and continued until the end 
to be an unconventional, rugged, and honest adviser of 
his fellow-countrymen. 

At the Democratic Convention which met in Denver in 
July, the Roosevelt policies were as popular as in the Re- 
publican Party. Many of the measures that had Bryan and 
recently received executive approval were among ^^^ 
those suggested or advocated by the Populists. The fig- 
ure of Bryan that had terrified the owners of property in 
1896 had ceased entirely to alarm, and Bryan himself was 
completely iA control. The South and West were united 
for him, and the opposition to his renomination among 
Eastern Democrats was discredited by the fact that the 
Tammany organization was against him. Judge Parker, 


the last candidate, was at the convention in command of 
the conservative delegates, who were defeated and ignored 
by the convention. Reporters who measured popularity 
by noise noted that the Denver Convention applauded 
Bryan for eighty-seven minutes, whereas the name of Roose- 
velt had received only forty-six minutes* applause at Chi- 
cago. John W. Kern, of Indiana, was nominated for Vice- 

The minor parties of 1908 presented numerous and un- 
important tickets. William Randolph Hearst, a consist- 
Third ent Democratic opponent of Bryan, formed his 
P^*^*^ own Independence Party, and nominated himself 
for President. The Populist Party had nearly disappeared. 
*' You ask me what we are to do,*' wrote Thomas E. Watson 
after he had received the Populist nomination for the presi- 
dency. ''Frankly, I don't know. The Democratic Party is 
chaotic ; the Republican Party is becoming so ; the Populist 
Party is dead, and we are all at sea." A handful of former 
Populists, still clinging to a hope of a union of agricultural 
and industrial discontent, tried to form a tew American 
Party, and nominated Wharton Barker for the presidency, 
but the American Party ''died a-borning," wrote its vice- 
presidential candidate, ' ' Calamity ' ' Weller, of Iowa. ' * The 
only difficulty was we could not raise money enough to put 
it on its feet and keep it there until it could run the race 
with decent and enticing respectability." 

The Socialists renominated Eugene V. Debs, but ran an 
unimportant third in the canvass, with 421 ,000 votes. The 
effort of its leaders to attract the vote of organized labor 
was persistent. The New York Call, founded as a daily 
May 30, 1908, with this in view, interpreted the news of the 
day from a Socialist slant. The Western Federation of 
Miners had been captured by the Socialist leaders, but or- 
ganized labor in general followed the course urged by Sam- 
uel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labor, 
which was to support their friends, punish their enemies, 
and keep out of politics as a body. 

The point over which labor was fighting in 1908 was the 


attitude of the courts toward strikes. For fifteen years, 
since Debs was jailed for contempt in the Pull- Labor and 
man strike of 1893, the practice had increased p^^*^*^^ 
of forbidding, by injunction, acts that the unions regarded 
as necessary. The sympathetic strike, boycott, and inter- 
ference with business by picketing and intimidation, were 
at various times forbidden by this practice, and violators 
of the injunctions, imprisoned for contempt of court, found 
themselves with slight legal redress. Opposition to what 
the unions described as government by injunction pervaded 
the ranks of organized labor. Gompers himself was in- 
volved in contempt proceedings with the Supreme Court, 
arising from the Buck Stove and Range Case. At Chicago 
he appeared before the Republican Committee on Platform, 
seeking an anti-injunction plank, and was rebuffed. At 
Denver he was better treated, and when the Democratic 
Party included a protest against injunctions in its platform, 
Gompers came out in support of Bryan and the Democratic 
ticket, urging labor to follow him and reward its friends, 
thus beginning a sort of alliance with the Democratic Party 
that lasted until the World War. 

The presidential canvass of 1908 was carried out in good 
temper so far as the chief candidates were concerned. 
Bryan, rehabilitated by Roosevelt's support of many of his 
policies, contested with Taft as to which leader and party 
might the better carry out the program upon which both 
ostensibly agreed. **The time is ripe," he wrote, **for an 
appeal to the moral sense of the nation ; the time is ripe for 
the arraignment of the plutocratic tendencies of the Repub- 
lican Party before the bar of public conscience; and the 
Democratic Party was never in better position than now to 
make this appeal.** 

No episode of the canvass was as sharp in a personal way 
as Roosevelt's denunciation of Parker in 1904. An attempt 
was made to discredit Taft as a Unitarian, which was re- 
buked by a letter from Roosevelt upon religion and politics 
that silenced those who were trying to inject denomina- 
tional theology into th^ Qfimpaign. An attempt to make 


political capital out of a casual remark by Taft with refer- 
ence to General Grant was equally unsuccessful. A forged 
letter bearing the signature of Grover Cleveland, and an- 
nouncing his preference for Taft over Bryan, aroused a 
ripple of interest, but had no result. Only Hearst suc- 
ceeded in diverting public attention to irrelevant matters. 

In the middle of September, while Hearst was campaign- 
ing for himself as a candidate of the Independence Party, he 
read into his speeches letters that some one had stolen from 
the files of the Standard Oil Company. However he got 
them, they cut into both great parties alike. Haskell, the 
Oklahoma member of the Democratic National Committee 
and its treasurer, was shown to have had such business 
relations with the Standard Oil Company as to prevent his 
further use by a party that denounced monopoly. J. B. 
Foraker, of Ohio, one of the Stalwart Republican con*- 
testants for the nomination, was similarly caught in the 
exposure. Foraker maintained with angry insistence the 
correctness of his relation, and it was a commonplace that 
he had never even pretended to desire Government control 
over business; but he, too, speedily retired from public life. 
The public temper that the muckrakers had produced and 
that the Roosevelt attacks upon the habits of business had 
intensified, was dominant in both parties. Whether a oting 
for Taft or Bryan, the bulk of the voters desired a further 
extension of the policies of Government control. 

Taft and Sherman were chosen in an election that re- 
vealed an unusual amount of independent voting. Demo- 
Election cratic governors were elected in four of the States 
of Taft |.jj2^|. |.jjg Republican ticket carried for the presi- 

dency. The signs indicated that neither party organi- 
zation retained its usual control over the loyalty of its 
members. Only the "Solid South*' remained thoroughly 
regular. Here the process of disfranchising the negro by 
constitutional amendment was brought near to completion 
when Georgia, in October, 1908, adopted a suffrage amend- 
ment establishing a new educational qualification for the 
franchise that barred most negroes. The Democratic Party 


continued in complete control of the Southern vote. Such 
political debates as there were were restricted to the pri- 
maries of that party. On election day the outcome was 
known in advance, and only a handful of voters cast their 

The main issue in the election was the relative respon- 
sibility of Taft or Bryan. 


The autobiographical writings of Foraker, Roosevelt, La Follette, and 
Mrs. Taft throw considerable light upon the period 1905-10, which re- 
mains, withal, without much source material apart from the current peri- 
odical literature, the usual Government reports, and the Congressional 



'* Never before in our time has the entry of a new President 
into office marked so slight a break politically between the 
present and the past," said the New York Tribune, as it 
commented upon the installation of Judge Taft on March 
4, 1909. The new Administration was regarded as a con- 
tinuation of the old, and Taft in his inaugural frankly 
accepted the duty of upholding the policies of Roosevelt. 
He pledged himself to bring forward as soon as possible 
amendments to the Sherman Act for the improvement of 
public control over trusts, and officially announced his in- 
tention to call the Sixty-First Congress — the eighth con- 
secutive Republican Congress — in an early special session 
to revise the tariff. There was no denunciation in his 
message, but through it there ran the belief that the work 
ahead would call for creative and constructive legislation of 
the highest order. 

Roosevelt left Washington for Oyster Bay immediately 
after the inaugural ceremony, creating a new precedent 
Departure by not returning to the White House with his 
of Roosevelt successor. The ceremonies themselves, held in 
the Senate Chamber because of a heavy storm, were of 
necessity simple in character, and the throngs of visitors and 
attendant governors with their trains found their oppor- 
tunities for display curtailed. The last days of the preced- 
ing Administration had been turbulent, with Congress in- 
dignant at Roosevelt, and with an unseemly discussion of 
governmental practices emphasizing the fact that for the 
time being Roosevelt's hold over the politicians of his party 
had been broken. There was a new temper in Washington 
politics from the date of the inauguration, while Colonel 
Roosevelt in Oyster Bay kept his hands off the policies of 
Taft, and tested the camping outfit with which he proposed 


shortly to hunt big game in Africa. Not until the summer 
of 19 10 was it possible for politicians to get his ear. He 
plunged into the jungle with the parting statement that 
any interview purporting to reveal his views might safely 
be regarded as untrue. 

The Taft Cabinet was dominated by careful lawyers. 
Philander C. Knox, formerly Attorney-General and now 
Senator from Pennsylvania, resigned his seat to become 
Secretary of State. Two members of the outgoing Cabi- 
net were retained, Meyer, who was transferred from the 
Post-Office to the Navy, and James Wilson, who had been 
Secretary of Agriculture for three Administrations. As 
Postmaster-General Taft appointed Frank H. Hitchcock, 
chairman of the Republican National Committee, and 
manager of his campaign. Hitchcock, like Cortelyou, had 
risen in the civil service and gained preferment by attract- 
ing the attention of the President. 

Before Congress met in its special session on March 15, 
1909, there had been comment as to whether it would be 
practicable for it to perform the tasks expected of it. At 
no time had the liberal Republicans controlled the organi- 
zation of the House of Representatives. Cannon, Speaker 
since 1903, had the full confidence of the "stand-pat" 
group, among which the demand for tariff revision and 
trust control had made slight impression. The effect of the 
agitation of the last eight years was to arouse popular ex- 
pectations, but also to stimulate the opposition of interests 
that had something to lose by the new policies. A little had 
been done in the control of corporations, and Government 
authority had been widely extended in new fields, but the 
basic laws were still to be constructed and enacted. 

From 1880 until 1896 the Republican Party became more 
and more completely a party of protection. Leaders like 
Hanna frankly demanded campaign contribu- TariflF 
tions commensurate with the profits that manu- ""^vision 
facturers expected to get. In 1888 one of the rare cam- 
paigns with a real issue sharply separating the parties was 
fought over the tariff; and when public interest drifted 


toward currency problems in the nineties, Hanna kept the 
party organization true to the tariff. McKiniey as Presi- 
dent broadened his view of world problems, and came to 
appreciate, what James G. Blaine had clearly seen, that 
the Chinese wall of the protective tariff acts as a restriction 
upon foreign trade. In his last public speech at Buffalo, 
at the exposition in honor of the Pan-American idea, he 
urged the adoption of a liberal policy of reciprocity. 

Other reasons than those of foreign trade weakened the 
hold of protection upon the Republican Party in the next 
eight years. The farmers of the Middle West reverted to 
their old belief that tariffs helped the manufacturer more 
than the farmer. In the McKiniey Bill there had been a 
deliberate attempt to satisfy this feeling by including a 
schedule on agricultural imports, but since agricultural im- 
ports were then and continued to be relatively unimportant, 
the concession failed to stop the anti-tariff drift. About 
1900 the tariff was connected with the idea of monopoly. 
The belief spread that special tariff privileges lay at the 
foundation of big business, and one of the magnates of the 
Sugar Trust openly called the tariff the ** mother of trusts." 

In 1902 the **Iowa idea," to the effect that tariff rates 
ought to be reduced, started a reaction against the tariff 
that was continuous thereafter. In Wisconsin and Minne- 
sota it took root, and its advocates made common cause 
with other local leaders who desired to convert the party 
organization into a more active agent against the trusts. 
Between 1902 and 1904 Roosevelt showed that he was at- 
tracted by the idea of tariff revision, but after the death of 
Hanna he made temporary peace with the conservatives 
and thereafter had little to say about tariff revision except 
that, as his second term advanced, he indicated that it 
would be a task for his successor. 

The Republican Convention of 1908 pledged the next 
Administration to a revision of the tariff. In the canvass. 
Judge Taft took the pledge seriously and promised not only 
a revision, but a revision downward. Between election 
and inauguration he visited Washington to confer with the 


party leaders and to urge that the Committee on Ways and 
Means begin the gathering of materials for a tariff revision 
to be handed over to the new committee after the 4th of 
March. In November tariff hearings began, and before 
Roosevelt went out of office a draft had been prepared in 
secrecy, and was nearly ready to be introduced in the new 
Congress. Whether or not it could be introduced was prob- 
lematical until after the organization of the lower house. 
A group of Republican Congressmen had already started a 
revolt against the Speaker, the rules, and the party policy, 
and there were enough of these insurgents to control the or- 
ganization of the House if they could induce the Democrats 
to work with them. They failed in this attempt, and Can- 
non was nominated by the Republican caucus and reelected. 
A little iMer, when they opposed the readoption of the 
House rules, enough Eastern Democrats voted with the Re- 
publicans to insure the maintenance of the old policy. A 
conservative Speaker appointed Sereno E. Payne chair- 
man of the Committee on Ways and Means, and the latter 
introduced a tariff bill on the third day of the session. 

The original bill was somewhat better than the tariff re- 
visionists had dared to hope for, and passed the House after 
three weeks of debate. Its content was, how- ^pj^^ Paync- 
ever, unimportant, since the Senate proposed to Aldrich 
rewrite it entirely, and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich 
kept the Committee on Finance in almost continuous ses- 
sion to deliberate upon the Senate proposals. The bill went 
to the Senate on April 9, and was ready for debate by the 
end of the month. It had become in the meantime a maxi- 
mum tariff with numerous rates increased and with a tariff 
board provided for the continuous study of tariff sched- 
ules. The bill passed the Senate in July with ten insurgent 
Republicans voting against it, among whom Beveridge, 
Cummins, Dolliver, and La FoUette were the most out- 
spoken. In the judgment of the Outlook, the Senate had 
betrayed the party faith. 

Until the Payne-Aldrich tariff was sent to conference in 
July President Taft refrained from interference with the 


processes of legislation. His view of the powers of the re^ 
spective branches of government led him to abstain from 
intervention. He began to take a hand only in the last 
stages of the bill, when there appeared possible both a dead- 
lock between the houses and a failure of the hope of down- 
ward revision. Speaking at the Yale Commencement, he 
asserted that the country would hold the party to a strict 
accountability should the tariff fail. President Taft signed 
the Payne- Aldrich Bill on August 5, 1909. When Roose- 
velt returned and became aware of what had been done, 
he thought the tariff "better than the last [the Dingley 
Bill] and considerably better than the one before the last 
[Wilson Bill]. " In the closing debate Taft succeeded in en- 
larging the free list of raw materials, and the Outlook, one of 
the severest critics of the bill in its early stages, thought it 
in its final form **by far the most enlightened protectionist 
measure ever enacted in the history of the country. '* 

It had been passed in the bright glare of publicity, with 
insurgent members of both houses pointing out what they 
Income Tax construed as its defects, and with journalists 
Amendment trained in the technic of muckraking, exploiting 
the iniquities of the measure. It included as novelties free 
trade for the Philippines, which was close to the heart of the 
President, and a tax on corporation incomes. This latter 
measure marked a stage in the rehabilitation of Populism, 
The Supreme Court decision of 1894, which declared un- 
constitutional the income tax provision of the Wilson Bill, 
enraged the Populists, who believed it to be a corrupt de- 
fense of privilege and wealth, and the constitutional amend- 
ment safeguarding the income tax became their immediate 
demand. In a special message of June 1 6 Taft advocated a 
tax on the income of corporations as likely to be regarded as 
constitutional, and in the ensuing debates the tax was in- 
corporated, and a new amendment to the constitution was 
agreed upon. . The new amendment, proposed on July 12, 
1909, received the requisite consent of three fourths of 
the States, and was proclaimed in 191 3. It authorized 
Congress **to lay and collect taxes on incomes from what- 


ever source derived" and silenced permanently objections 
founded upon limitation in the taxing power. 

The insurgent Senators voted "no" upon the final pas- 
sage of the tariff bill, and hurried home to tell their constit- 
uents that the party pledge had been violated Rise of 
and that the tariff was another victory for priv- insurgents 
ilege. The discontent that they voiced and stimulated 
was so pronounced that Taft took a speaking trip to defend 
the measure as a compliance with the pledge. He trav- 
eled sixteen thousand miles in vain. Speaking at Winona, 
Minnesota, September 17, he made a thoroughgoing de- 
fense of the bill without convincing his Western critics. 
The insurgent movement was centered in the upper Missis- 
sippi Valley, and accepted the explanation of its local lead- 
ers rather than that of the President. Instead of satisfying 
his audiences that the tariff was wise and fair, he convinced 
them that he had allied himself with the "stand-pat" group, 
and that Cannon and Aldrich, Penrose and Murray Crane, 
were to dominate his policies instead of those Republicans 
who had avowed and shown their zeal for correcting the 
abuses in trade and politics. The insurgents began to ask 
what would happen to the Roosevelt policies with such a 

The Western speeches of the President were not confined 
to tariff matters. Repeatedly as opportunity offered he 
renewed his statement of determination to carry out the 
policies of his predecessor, and discussed the question of 
conservation in its various aspects. The difference between 
the temper of Taft and that of Roosevelt greatly affected 
their treatment of all administrative problems, and par- 
ticularly one like conservation that was founded thus far 
chiefly in executive judgment. At the Conservation Con- 
ference in December, 1908, Taft alluded to the problem as 
lying in the twilight zone of federal jurisdiction. In Roose- 
velt 's view the twilight zone belonged to him, and he re- 
garded himself as warranted in doing anything in the public 
interest that was not forbidden by some specific law. His 
withdrawal of lands from entry had been based upon his 


belief that they ought to be conserved rather than upon any 
stated authority to conserve them. Taft approached simi- 
lar problems and believed himself excluded from the twilight 
zone except as Congress directed him to enter it. He 
searched the statute books for laws conferring authority 
while Roosevelt searched to see if there were prohibitions. 
The normal consequence of such difference in temper was 
difference in conduct that showed itself now that Taft was 
responsible for presidential policies, and it necessarily made 
him appear to be allied with those who obstructed Govern- 
ment control. 

Before leaving his summer home at Beverly, Massachu- 
setts, for his Western trip, it became necessary for President 
The Bal- '^^'^ ^^ straighten out a controversy involving 
linger con- problems of conservation. The Secretary of the 
*^ Interior, Richard A. Ballinger, had served as 
Conunissioner of the General Land Office under Roosevelt. 
His policies as Secretary failed to meet the expectations of 
the conservationists. Gifford Pinchot, of the Forestry Serv- 
ice, openly attacked him in the early summer because of his 
policies respecting water-power sites and coal lands. The 
controversy involved both policies and opinions, and was 
the more difficult to settle because Pinchot was in the 
Department of Agriculture and not under the control of 
Ballinger. Only by the direct intervention of the President 
could action be obtained. The attack on Ballinger was 
founded upon specific charges made by one of his employees 
named Glavis. A memorandum prepared for the President 
and supporting the Secretary, although not passing judg- 
ment upon the merits of particular claims, was signed by 
Taft in September. Glavis was dismissed from the Gov- 
ernment service, and persuaded his friends that he was 
made a victim because of his activity in the public interest. 
On November 13, 1909, he published in Collier's Weekly 
"The Whitewashing of Ballinger." 

Before Congress met, the friends of conservation were 
engaged in a vigorous attack upon Ballinger as a servant of 
the trusts and monopolies that were endeavoring to steal 


the public domain. A joint committee was appointed on 
January 26 to investigate the administration of the Depart- 
ment of the Interior. It ultimately filed a report upholding 
the administration of the department, but the controversy 
had grown from the limited field of conservation to the 
broader one of general politics. Gifford Pinchot had con- 
tinued his open attacks upon Ballinger and his policies. 
He carried his fight until it involved a matter of adminis- 
trative discipline. In the early winter he wrote a letter to 
Senator DoUiver in violation of a rule forbidding subordi- 
nates to carry on direct correspondence with Congress in 
such cases. He believed the Secretary of Agriculture had 
authorized him to write the letter, but when Secretary 
Wilson denied having given the authority there remained no 
other course than to treat it as a breach of discipline. Taft 
dismissed Pinchot on January 7, 1910, and precipitated 
thereby a party crisis in the face of approaching Congres- 
sional elections. 

So far as conservation was concerned, there was room for 
more than one opinion. The legal authority for as vigorous 
a program as Roosevelt had carried out was xheWest 
dubious at best. President Taft appealed in andconser- 
defense of conservation, with every appearance 
of sincerity, but his acts failed to satisfy the conserva- 
tionists, and the difference of opinion was seized upon by 
the insurgents who were already disposed to believe that 
he had abandoned the progressive cause to ally himself with 
the ** stand-pat." By 1910 another point of view had de- 
veloped with reference to conservation. In many respects 
the policy was an Eastern policy for Western problems. 
Local opinion in the West had always favored the speedy 
development of the public domain. Western States in- 
vited irrigation works, but looked askance at national 
forests forever removed from State management or tax- 
ation, and objected to withdrawal of lands from entry. 
The selfish interests that desired to appropriate national 
resources found it possible to stir up a genuine Western 
objection to a national policy that hindered local develop- 


ment. Ballinger had the Far Western point of view, while 
Taft, his chief, had the legalistic mind. Of necessity their 
conduct in conservation failed to meet the expectation of 
the scientific conservationists. The dismissal of Pinchot 
brought conservation into the field of active politics. Be- 
fore his dismissal he had already written of the controversy 
to Colonel Roosevelt at Khartoum, and in the early spring 
of 1910 he crossed the Atlantic to meet him at Porto 
Maurizio as he traveled north from Africa. The friends 
of conservation, thinking themselves deceived by the Ad- 
ministration, turned to the ex-President, the founder of 
the movement, for leadership and comfort, while in Con- 
gress the insurgent Republicans as well as the Democrats 
made the most of the Payne-Aldrich tariff and the Bal- 
linger- Pinchot controversy as proof that the conservatives 
had gained control of the Administration. 


F. A. Ogg, National Progress (1917), gives a careful narrative of eventa 
after 1907. Other works of special interest on this period are Frank J. 
Goodnow, Social Reform and the Constitution (191 1); Nicholas Murray 
Butler, Why Should we Change our Form of Government (19 12); Herbert 
Croly, The Promise of American Life (1909) ; and Paul L. Haworth, America 
in Ferment (1915). The writings of Tarbell and Taussig continue useful 
upon the tarifT. The insurgent point of view is best represented by 
Collier's Weekly, 1909-10. The report of the investigating committee on 
the Ballinger-Pinchot controversy is printed as 6i8t Cong., 2d Sess., Sen. 
Doc. 248. 



The differences of principle and the personal grievances 
that had been suppressed or overridden by the dominating 
personality of Roosevelt broke out in open war- insurgent 
fare before Taft met his first Congress. While ^^^^^^ 
the Committee on Ways and Means was drafting its tariff 
schedules in secrecy, a group of dissenters became openly 
insurgent against the policies of the party, and let it be 
known that there would be a test of strength in the organ- 
izationof the Sixty-First Congress. From this time until the 
end of the Administration the insurgents held the center of 
the political stage. Most of their members came from the 
upper Mississippi Valley with the States that had harbored 
the Granger movement now most active in revolt. In the 
Senate their leaders had little chance for effective action, 
since there were almost twice as many Republicans as 
Democrats in that body, and the votes of men like Cum- 
mins, Beveridge, and La FoUette were not needed to make 
a majority. In the House, however, of the three hundred 
and ninety-one members the Republicans at best had a 
majority of under fifty, while the insurgents claimed to 
control between twenty and thirty votes, and it was always 
possible that by uniting with the Democratic minority they 
might break the Republican control. Attempts were made 
in March, 1909, to defeat Cannon for reelection, and these 
constituted the first formal action of the insurgents. 

The fundamental insurgent claim was that machine poli- 
tics had usurped the control of the national parties, and had 
defrauded the people of the right of self-govern- Attack on 
ment. The most visible agent of this domi- ^^""0" 
nance was the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 
whose power had steadily grown more autocratic since 
Thomas B. Reed had led in the revision of the rules in 1890, 


The large membership of the House and the short average 
tenure of its members inherently weakened it as a machine 
for doing public business. On the floor and in the commit- 
tee rooms most of the members were usually new and in- 
experienced in the mechanism of government. The small 
proportion who had sat in two or three preceding Con- 
gresses acquired a power of leadership based upon knowing 
the ropes that was often far in excess of their right to leader- 
ship. The Speaker was in control of his party in the House. 
He appointed all committees and these conunittees drafted 
the rules and statutes that the House enacted. He con- 
trolled the floor for purposes of debate, and by withholding 
recognition from private speakers ; or by collusion as to who 
should be recognized, he was able to silence individuals or 
factions. Few members of Congress had personal grievances 
s^ainst Joseph G. Cannon, but all the insurgent leaders 
believed that his power was so exercised as to prevent 
interference with the legislative policies of conservative 
Republicans. The revolt had been long impending. A 
dozen Republicans voted against Cannon's reelection, and a 
larger number voted against the readoption of the rules of 
the House that placed the entire control of conunittee poli- 
cies in his hands. In the ensuing debate over the Payne- 
Aldrich tariff the insurgents' grievance over the mechanics 
of party control was heightened by their hostility to the 
tariff that was passed. In both houses ominous groups 
voted against the final passage of the bill. When the 
administrative quarrel between Ballinger and Pinchot 
arose, and Taft most needed the support and confidence 
of his party, the insurgent Republicans were indisposed to 
grant it. 

The reform program looked toward a revival of essential 
democracy by making government more responsive to the 
Program people. In the management of party conven- 
of reforms tions there had been personal grievances and 
violations of principle over a long term of years. Candi- 
dates for office were nominated by party conventions, 
while the delegates to these conventions were selected in 


>ther conventions or caucuses in which few voters partici- 

)ated and over which the influence of the political boss 

:ould easily be exerted. It was natural for defeated as- 

>irants to feel that they suffered because of improper ob- 

tructions of the public will, and to regard themselves as 

ntitled to more support than they received. It was also 

rue that the managers of parties and conventions strove 

o have their business cut and dried, their slates framed in 

.he interest of party harmony, and their own conclusions 

ratified without protest. Roosevelt had in 1908 helped to 

draft the statement of party principles that was released 

for publication before the convention that was to adopt it 

had assembled. 

The control of conventions was by no means the only 
grievance of the insurgents. They declared that legislative 
bodies, city councils. State legislatures, and even Congress 
itself, responded more quickly to the will of professional 
politicians and big business than to the voice of the people, 
which they claimed to represent. Their complaint resem- 
bled that of the Populist Party in whose early platforms 
there had been accumulated similar charges of misgovem- 
ment as well as proposals for fundamental reform. The 
initiative and the referendum were words that became 
known in American politics through the discussions of the 
Populist period. With the referendum the United States 
was entirely familiar, since it habitually submitted consti- 
tutions and their amendments to ratification by popular 
vote. These ideas had been taken up by young Republi- 
can leaders as the Populists lost their grip. A few Western 
States made provision for initiating laws by popular action, 
as well as for calling a referendum upon legislative acts. 
The system seemed to promise relief from boss control. 

The tendency of conventions to override movements of 
protest revived another mechanical reform, advocated by 
Senator La FoUette and his Middle- Western friends. The 
direct primary as a means of making nomination for office 
was only an elaboration of the principle of the initiative, but 
it went further in that its advocates proposed to do away 


with the convention itself. Twice in Wisconsin, in 1896 
and 1898, La Follette believed that conventions, because 
of the corrupt influence of railroad politicians, defrauded 
the party of its desire to nominate him for governor. His 
project for a national system of direct primaries for nomi- 
nating to all offices including the presidency, was advanced 
in 1897. In New York Governor Hughes was fighting for a 
similar reform in 1909, and numerous States had extended 
their election laws to control party behavior in making 
party nominations. The demand for a direct primary 
arose from a situation that the Nation in 1896 described as 
•'the product of thirty years of government by intrigue, 
concealment, and bribery." 

Another of the Populist reforms, the direct election of 
Senators, received the approval of the insurgents and was 
advanced by the election of a Senator from Illinois in 1909. 
William Lorimer was then elected Senator after a long 
struggle at Springfield in the course of which it was charged 
that bribery had contributed to the result. Lorimer was a 
man of exemplary personal habits, and had made so many 
strong friendships while in the lower house that the scandal 
of his election was the more notorious. The system itself 
not only made it possible for corrupt influences to purchase 
an election, but also to bring deadlock to the government 
of a great State while its legislature neglected public affairs 
in order to wrangle over a Senator at Washington. After 
a long and bitter investigation, Lorimer was expelled; and 
insurgent Senators, Bristow and Borah, utilized the scandal 
to urge the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution. 
The amendment was proclaimed in 191 3 and placed the 
election of Senators in the hands of the voters themselves. 

The dismissal of Pinchot from the Government service 
and the resulting investigation of the Interior Department, 
Change in which was forced through the House by a com- 
House rules bination of Democratic and insurgent votes, gave 
the cue for renewed effort by the insurgents to control the 
party. Twenty-four of them signed a public statement 
that the ** object of the so-called insurgent movement in the 


national House of Representatives is to bring about such 
a revision of the present arbitrary rules under which the 
business of the House is carried on as will restore the prin- 
ciple of representative government without interfering with 
the expedition of the public business.'* Under the leader- 
ship of George W. Norris, of Nebraska, they prepared an 
amendment to the House rules, taking the appointment of 
the Committee on Rules away from the Speaker, making it 
elective by the House itself, and disqualifying the Speaker 
from membership upon it. On March 17, 1910, they sprung 
their plot against Cannon, who exhausted all the parliamen- 
tary devices to delay a roll-call; but after thirty hours of 
continuous debate the insurgent-Democratic combination 
broke the power of the Speaker. 

It was the hope of the opposition that it broke the power 
of the Republicans as well. For the first time since free 
silver split the Democratic Party was there a real hope of 
Democratic success. Democrats made the most of the in- 
ability of Taf t to dominate his party. They conspired with 
the insurgents and attacked the Administration. **For 
the first time in the history of the country a President of 
the United States has openly proclaimed himself the friend 
of thieves and the enemy of honest men," wrote Henry 
Watterson in the Louisville Courier- Journal for the inspi- 
ration of his Democratic associates. 

With his own party debating the sincerity of his accept- 
ance of progressive ideas, President Taft had difficulty in 
guiding a program of constructive legislation . . 

through Congress. The revision of the tariff trative 
was the only important work of his first session. ^^^^ ^^ 
In the winter of 1909-10 he called the attention 
of Congress to the need for further railroad regulation, for 
additional amendments to the Sherman Anti-Trust Law, 
and for special statutes defining the power of the President 
in the twilight zone of conservation. In this last field Con- 
gress removed the uncertainty with reference to the power 
of the President to withdraw lands of the public domain 
from entry, pending final determination as to their use. 


Roosevelt had acted freely in this direction without specific 
authority. Taft now withdrew coal lands until at the end 
of his Administration 58,863,785 acres of these had been 
safeguarded in this way. The forest areas were increased. 
The vacancy in the Forestry Service caused by the dismissal 
of Gifford Pinchot was filled by the appointment of Henry 
S. Graves, head of the Yale School of Forestry. The Bu- 
reau of Mines was created in the Department of the In- 
terior and shortly came under the direction of Van H. Man- 
ning, and received new powers for the scientific study of 
mineral resources. 

The progress made in the field of conservation was par- 
alleled by progress toward the completion of statehood for 
all the United Slates. The admission of Okla- 

Admission « • ii^t/*««« 

of Arizona homa m 1907 marked the nnal disappearance 
Mexko^ from the map of the old Indian Country. At 
one stage in the proceedings with reference to 
Oklahoma, an omnibus bill had been brought forward for 
the division of the Territory into two States instead of one, 
and for the enabling at the same time of the last remaining 
Territories of the American Desert, Arizona and New Mex- 
ico. The stubborn opposition of Senator Beveridge to the 
admission of Indian Territory except as a single State held 
back the admission of any of the last group for several 
years. The people of Arizona and New Mexico, caught in 
the political entanglement with which they had no concern, 
protested in vain, but procured no relief until 1910. Their 
territorial status had lasted for fifty years, beginning when 
New Mexico was made a Territory as a part of the Com- 
promise of 1850. The slow-going Mexican population of 
the valley of the Rio Grande showed little disposition to 
expand or grow. In 1863 discoveries of gold near the Col- 
orado River and the rediscovery of silver mines in the valley 
of the Santa Cruz brought about the partition of New Mex- 
ico and the creation of Arizona. Whenever statehood was 
discussed thereafter, these two Territories were included as 
a part of the general problem. The Southern Pacific and 
the Atchison, Topeka & Santa F6 built across them with- 


out greatly affecting their development, but toward the 
end of the century the progress of irrigation and the rise of 
large-scale mining, in which numerous company towns were 
established, gave to Arizona a quickened appearance that 
pointed toward speedy admission. In 1910 when they were 
enabled, Arizona had a population of 204,354; New Mexico 

of 327,301. 

Under their enabling acts the Territories made rapid 
progress, and both were admitted by proclamation of the 
President in 191 2. Arizona was some weeks later than New 
Mexico because of interference by President Taft that was 
interpreted as throwing light upon his attitude toward 
the pr6gressive movement. Like most constitutional con- 
ventions, the Arizona body was offered all of the modem 
reforms and accepted many of them. One device, the recall 
of judges, aroused in general more opposition than any of 
the other mechanical reforms, and was widely attacked as 
striking at the independence and honesty of the judiciary. 
President Taft never forgot his training as a judge, and de- 
clined to issue a proclamation certifying the admission of 
Arizona until the Territory had amended its projected con- 
stitution by excising the objectionable recall of judges. 
Congress supported him in this and the Territory bowed to 
the inevitable; but once admitted it flaunted its independ- 
ence of the President and Congress by amending its con- 
stitution and restoring the offending article. 

Alaska was given full territorial organization in 191 3. 
Since its acquisition in 1867 it had been governed arbitrarily 
and had been in continuous danger of exploita- Alaska 
tion. Its coal lands aroused the interest of spec- Territory 
ulators, whose attempts to secure control of them precipi- 
tated the attack upon BalHnger. There was need for rail- 
road development, whose control was tied up with that of 
the natural resources, and whose execution was undertaken 
by the United States itself in the next Administration. 

The program of railroad legislation included an extension 
of the powers of the Interstate Commerce Commission, an 
enlargement of its jurisdiction to include terminals, tele- 


graph, telephone, and cable services, and the creation of a 
Railroad new federal court for the special purpose of de- 
Act of 1910 termining appeals arising from the orders of the 
Commission. On June 18, 1910, Taft signed the Mann- 
Elkins Act for these purposes after a prolonged debate 
between the insurgent advocates of rigorous control and 
conservative opposition to any control. Senator Cummins, 
the head of the insurgents in this matter, with the support 
of insurgent and Democratic votes, forced the adoption of 
amendments until, in its final passage, the bill was an ac- 
ceptable compromise. Its commerce court was a distinct 
novelty. Heretofore, cases arising out of public control 
of the railroads had been long drawn out because of the 
crowded condition of the judicial docket or had involved 
technical matters in transportation economics that many 
federal judges were unfitted to determine. The new panel 
of circuit judges that made up the commerce court was 
expected both to expedite decisions and to specialize in 
railroad problems. The long and short haul clause of the 
original Interstate Commerce Act was restated and placed 
in the discretionary control of the Interstate Commerce 
Conunission. The bill retained the progress of 1906 and 
made new advances toward national control. 

A Postal Savings Act, long advocated by reformers and 
included in the old Populist program, was passed in 1910, 
and in due time turned every post-office into a savings 
bank. The appropriation of a special fund for economic 
studies in the tariff schedules made a new step toward 
the adoption of a scientific basis for tariff legislation. The 
debates over the Taft measures of 19 10 were confused by 
the rancorous controversy between the conservative and 
insurgent Republicans. Their final passage was obscured 
Return of by the fact that on June 18 Theodore Roosevelt 
Roosevelt landed at New York to receive an ovation that 
indicated the strong hold that he retained upon the Ameri- 
can people. The Roosevelt tour of 1909-10 began with a 
hunting trip in eastern Africa. The expedition was chiefly 
scientific in its nature and was partly financed by friends of 


the National Museum in Washington, to which institution 
the trophies were presented when the naturalists returned. 
When the hunt was over Roosevelt proceeded down the 
Nile to Khartoum, and then to Cairo and Alexandria. He 
crossed to Italy and paid a round of visits at the courts 
of Europe, received everywhere as the most distinguished 
American citizen, with honors usually accorded only to 
royalty. At Christiania he delivered his Nobel address, 
and in Paris, Berlin, Oxford, and London spoke upon 
politics and letters. While in London he was appointed 
special ambassador to represent the United States at the 
funeral of Edward VII. He returned to Oyster Bay to 
receive the visit of politicians of all shades of opinion and 
to hear their tales of the events during his absence. 

In August Colonel Roosevelt started West upon a speak- 
ing trip with his main objective at Osawatomie, Kansas, 
where he had agreed to speak on the memory "NewNa- 
of John Brown. Here as elsewhere he avoided tionalism" 
aligning himself against the Administration or expressing 
an opinion as to whether it had upheld his policies, but he 
gave a name to the movement in which the insurgents were 
engaged when he spoke of the **New Nationalism" that 
must be brought into the United States Government in 
order to enable it to cope with the problems of industrial 
life. He preferred to find his legal authority for the work 
in the existing Constitution, but demanded the amendment 
of the Constitution if necessary. The antipathies that 
conservative Republicans had developed toward him in 
1909 were revived with increased intensity as he advocated 
fundamental changes. He showed his power in September 
by crowding Vice-President Sherman out of the chairman- 
ship of the New York Republican Convention ; and entered 
vigorously into the New York canvass for Henry L. Stimson 
as governor. The defeat of Stimson in November was in- 
terpreted as the work of conservatives to give Roosevelt a 
lesson, but was more intimately a part of the Democratic 
gain due to the Republican split. 

The Sixty-Second Congress, elected on November 8, 1910, 


was under Democratic control after eight Congresses of 
Republican ascendancy. It was the consequence of Re- 
publican collapse rather than of Democratic leadership. 
Antagonism to the Payne-Aldrich tariff weakened the Re- 
publican vote, while the insurgent controversy gave op- 
portunity for individual Democrats to gain office. Each 
faction blamed the other for the party losses, but the 
Democrats interpreted their victory. as a precursor of a 
greater victory in 191 2. A renewed interest in the person- 
ality of Democratic leaders was bom and drew attention 
to the successful governors in 1910, Harmon, of Ohio, Dix, 
of New York, and Wilson, of New Jersey. 


Charles R. Van Hise, Conservation of the Natural Resources of the United 
States (19 10), is a study in the basic problems of conservation by an 
economic geologist. Theodore. Roosevelt, The New Nationalism (1910), 
contains the Osawatomie speech in which the new phrase was coined. 
Frederic C. Howe, Wisconsin, an Experiment in Democracy (191 2); and 
Charles McCarthy, The Wisconsin Ideal (191 2), are enthusiastic descrip- 
tions of the workings of the movement in the Northwest, while some of its 
larger aspects are covered in Edward A. Ross, Changing America (191 2), 
and Walter E. Weyl, The New Democracy (1912). Benjamin DeWitt, 
The Progressive Movement (19 15), gives a retrospect after the crest of 
insurgency was passed. James J. Hill, The Highways of Progress (1910), 
is a capitalist's support of conservation. A valuable report on campaign 
contributions is "Testimony before a Sub-Committee of the Senate Com- 
mittee on Privileges and Elections," published by the 62d Cone., 3d Sess. 



The progress of excavation and construction in the Canal 

Zone brought the Isthmus of Panama into ever greater 
importance as the geographic center of American diplo- 
macy. Roosevelt eliminated the foreign obstructions and 
headed off the possibility of German rivalry in the Carib- 
bean. The work of excavation was well advanced when 
he left office in 1909 after reviewing the home-coming 
American fleet. His demonstration of naval power and 
diplomatic intention smoothed the way for his successor. 
Taft found only those obstructions that were inherent in 
the engineering problem and the temper of the Latin- 
American neighbors around the Caribbean. The Roose- 
velt policy of swinging the **big stick" had warned off 
interlopers, but had increased the suspicion of the United 
States in South and Central America. Both Root and 
Knox had this suspicion to contend with as they sought 
to stabilize the conditions of government in the vicinity of 
the canal. 

Under the benevolent despotism of Goethals the work on 
the canal advanced without cessation. The annual report 
showed increasing millions of yards excavated 
in the Culebra cut, the fills and spillways for the and the 
dam at Gatun, and the monumental locks to ^anaT^ 
control the water level at either end. Roosevelt 
determined the site, Taft the lock method of construction. 
The estimates of the engineers indicated that the task 
would be completed early in the Administration of Taft's 
successor, and the formal date was finally placed at Au- 
gust 15, 1914, with a great world's fair at San Francisco to 
celebrate the occasion in the following winter. The task 
was done on time, and Goethals was advanced to the rank 
of major-general as a reward for his services, while his 
medical subordinate, Gorgas, became brigadier-general. 


Before the question of rewards was taken up Congress 
found it necessary in 191 2 to settle the terms upon which 
the Panama Canal should be used by the commerce of the 
world. The only restriction upon the free power of Con- 
gress was the clause of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty pro- 
viding that it should be open on equal terms to the vessels 
of all nations. The bill for the government of the canal 
was shaped by those who desired a preference for American 
vessels, and was passed with a clause exempting American 
bottoms from the tolls. It was known at the time that 
Great Britain would object to this as a violation of equality 
of terms, but the provision was allowed to stand. 

The neighbors of the canal continued to be centers of 
intrigue and of upheaval. Of all Latin-American countries 
Latin-Amer- ^^^V were the most tropical in character and 
ican possessed the smallest number of working white 

neighbors «t^ m r r • • -i j 

men. Traffic of foreigners in railroad conces- 
sions, mining rights, and natural resources was a constant 
provocative of bribery and repudiation. Their resulting 
insolvency always invited foreign interventions such as the 
Venezuela blockade of 1902. In 1905 a step was taken by 
the United States for the better stability of one of them, 
Santo Domingo, by the erection of an American financial 
receivership, and this idea was extended toward Nicaragua 
and Honduras, and was pressed by Knox as an Adminis- 
tration policy. The principle of the Piatt Amendment was 
to be extended over Central America by the voluntary 
consent of the countries concerned. American bankers 
were to underwrite their debts and the American Govern- 
ment was to see that Treasury receipts were honestly col- 
lected and expended. The power of the United States was 
to be used to safeguard them against invasion, and a Central 
American court of arbitral justice, agreed to under the 
leadership of Root, was to resolve their local differences. 
American warships and detachments of marines were often 
used to maintain order in Nicaragua, Honduras, Santo 
Domingo, and in Cuba where the Cuban constitution spe- 
cifically conveyed that power. In the winter of J912 Knox 


visited the Caribbean for a series of friendly conferences 
with the republics bordering thereon. The Colombian 
Government took occasion to announce that he would not 
be welcome at Bogota, but elsewhere he was received with 
a cordiality that seems to have had no effect in reducing 
the amount of local disturbance. 

Congress and the Senate were reluctant to become in- 
volved in the ''dollar diplomacy" of Secretary Knox. The 
problems of maintaining peace in the vicinity of the canal 
were left to the next Administration, with Colombia still 
aggrieved at what she believed to be the unfriendly inter- 
vention of the United States at the time of the Panama 

While Knox was engaged in pressing his dollar diplomacy, 
as a means of stabilizing affairs in Central America, he was 
carrying on other negotiations similarly founded Canadian 
upon a willingness to conciliate and a respect fisheries 
for the rights and interests of other nations. 
The last of the important disputes with England was 
brought to a friendly settlement by an arbitration at The 
Hague in 1910. This involved the interpretation of the 
fishing rights originally left with the United States at 
the time of independence in 1783. Ever after that date 
there was difference of opinion between New England, that 
did most of the fishing, and Newfoundland and Quebec, 
off whose shores the fishing was done. The shore rights 
in connection with the fishing were always in debate. At 
various times during the century. New England became 
aroused by a belief that its treatment was unfair. The 
Halifax award of 1877 failed to clear the matter up and left 
details unsettled until 1910. In the last weeks of Roose- 
velt's Administration, it was agreed to submit the details to 
an arbitration which Knox managed, and whose award was 
handed down in September, 1910. A general claims con- 
vention with Great Britain was also signed in order to 
dispose of the accumulated list of private claims. 

Arbitration with Great Britain was no longer a novelty, 
and after 1908 had special sanction from the language of 


the treaty concluded by Root. Cleveland's eflfort for a 
general treaty of arbitration was without success, but 
Root negotiated with James Bryce a general treaty that 
the Senate finally accepted. In accordance with this, all 
controversies were to be submitted to arbitration with the 
usual exception of matters involving national honor, or 
independence, or vital interests. From the standpoint of 
strict law an agreement so limited had little binding force, 
for in moments of international dispute it is easy to elevate 
any controversy until it seems to become a part of one of 
these exceptions, but as an evidence of friendly feeling and 
kindly interest the agreement had considerable value, and 
described the practice that has generally prevailed be- 
tween Great Britain and the United States for more than 
a century. 

James Bryce, who conducted the British end of the ne- 
gotiation, placed the relations between the two nations 

upon a new plane because of the regard in which 
Bryce and he was held by Americans of all classes. Ap- 
Wtration*^ pointed Ambassador m 1907, he had for nearly 

forty years known more of America than most 
Americans. His repeated visits had given him a sympa- 
thetic understanding of the extent, difficulty, and success 
of the American experiment. Only the Federalist of 
Alexander Hamilton, and De TocqueviUe's Democracy in 
America rank with the American Commonwealth of James 
Bryce, and each of these is more limited than the last. For 
twenty years before Bryce came to Washington as Am- 
bassador, his book was the standard text upon American 
government. He was already intimate with most Ameri- 
cans of importance, and his administration of the embassy 
paved the way for a celebration of the hundred years of 
peace that would be rounded out in 1914. It did so much 
to solidify the cordiality between the two nations that 
Americans with Irish and German names, fearful of too 
much British influence in American affairs, broke up meet- 
ings in celebration of the peace with Britain, and organized 
in 191 2 what they called the ** American Truth Society," 


" to propagate true Americanism" by preventing an Anglo- 
American understanding. 

The arbitration agreement with England had meanwhile 
been carried one step further, as a result of public state- 
ments separately made by President Taft and Viscount 
Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, in which each declared 
his willingness for a binding treaty for the arbitration of all 
disputes without any reservation. In August, 191 1, Knox 
signed such treaties with both England and France, and 
uncovered in the Senate an unexpected hostility to un- 
limited arbitration. Roosevelt spoke vigorously against 
the principle, and his old associate, Lodge, brought into the 
Senate the majority report against a binding pledge. The 
minority report of Root agreed with the position of Taft 
and Knox that arbitration could have no national sanction 
unless great nations were willing to accept it whether they 
wanted it or not, and whether the decisions were likely to 
go for them or against. All the anti-British elements in 
the United States were violent in their denunciations of 
the treaty as subservient to England. The treaties were 
so amended by their enemies in the Senate that they were 
allowed to die by the President, and the Roosevelt treaty 
remained in force. 

International peace was progressing in spite of the re- 
luctance of the Senate. The objections to competitive 
armament, and the reasonableness of arbitral ^ 
methods, at least where other nations were con- and the 
cemed, were receiving ever wider attention, p^^*^^ 
One of the Carnegie funds was devoted to the 
furtherance of peace, while its donor drew up his plans for 
a temple to be erected at The Hague, to house the court 
that had been agreed upon in principle in 1907. The open- 
ing of this building in 191 3 was accepted as an indication 
that the world was through with its great wars. 

The interest of Taft in the arbitration of international 
disputes was a part of his larger interest in the adminis- 
tration of justice. His refusal to admit Arizona into the 
Union with a constitutional provision for the recall of 


judges was another side of the same interest. His appoint- 
ments to the federal bench were made with un- 
the reor- usual care, and it fell to his lot to rebuild the 
^emeCourt Personnel of the Supreme Court. Melville W. 

Fuller, a member of that court since 1888, died 
in 1 910, which made it necessary to appoint a new Chief 
Justice. Edward Douglass White, a member of the court 
since 1 894, when Cleveland appointed him from Louisiana, 
was promoted to that position. A group of unexpected 
vacancies changed the complexion of the court. Justices 
Lurton, Van Devanter, Lamar, and Pitney were added 
within two years, as well as Governor Charles E. Hughes, 
of New York, who took his seat in October, 1910. 

While the reorganization of the Supreme Court and the 
movements for peaceful relationships were in process, the 
old question of reciprocity with Canada came to the front. 
In January, 191 1, Taft urged without avail upon the last 
session of the Republican Congress the enactment of an 
agreement for better trade relations with Canada. The 
project was in line with the relaxation of the high pro- 
tective rates, demanded by insurgent Congressmen in 1909, 
but it received the bitter opposition of many of them be- 
cause its result would be to bring Canadian agricultural 
products into more direct competition with those origi- 
nating in the Northwestern United States. The session 
adjourned without action, and the President immediately 
summoned the Sixty-Second Congress in special session to 
debate the project. 

Champ Clark, of Missouri, who had been a Democratic 
Congressman for eight terms, was elected Speaker when the 
Champ House Convened, April 4, 1911. He presided 

th^De^'*^ over a group of lawmakers whose personnel had 
cratic been greatly changed by insurgent contests and 

program Democratic victory. One hundred and eighteen 
of the members were new to their tasks ; about two thirds 
of them belonging to the majority. The Democratic 
majority of more than sixty votes was able to control the 
proceedings of the House if its members could maintain 


discipline within their ranks. A new minority of one vote 
appeared in this Congress for the first time in the person 
of Victor L. Berger, a Socialist from a Milwaukee district. 
In the Senate the old Republican majority was reduced to 
so small a number that when Vice-President Sherman died 
in October, 1912, it was doubtful whether a Republican 
presiding officer could be elected to replace him. It was 
only a theoretical majority at best, for thirteen of the 
Republican Senators were insurgents who expected to be 
treated as Republicans in the assignment to committees, 
but who reserved their independent privilege of staying 
out of caucus and voting with the Democrats at pleasure. 
Speaker Clark, with Oscar W. Underwood, of Alabama, as 
chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, blocked 
out a party program of tariff revision, one schedule at a 
time, and included the passage of the reciprocity agreement 
with Canada, as in accord with the larger policy. Canadian 
In the summer of 191 1 Congress accepted the reciprocity 
reciprocal agreement, which became the basis of a general 
election in Canada in September. The Laurier Govern- 
ment went to the polls in the Dominion, seeking support 
for its trade policy, and met an opposition of Dominion 
nationalists who aspired to make Canada an independent 
nation, and who feared close contacts with the United 
States. A letter written by Taft to Roosevelt in January, 
191 1, embittered the debate. "The amount of Canadian 
products we would take," he wrote, "would procure a 
current of business between Western Canada and the 
United States that would make Canada only an adjunct 
of the United States. It would transfer all their impor- 
tant business to Chicago and New York, with their bank 
credits and everything else, and it would increase greatly 
the demand of Canada for our manufactures. I see this 
is an argument against reciprocity, made in Canada, and I 
think it is a good one." The unhappy phrase, "an ad- 
junct of the United States," inflamed Canadian opinion 
against the Laurier Government, overturned it, and de- 
feated reciprocity. To the embarrassment of being forced 


to appeal to Democrats to adopt the agreement was added 
the chagrin at having it rejected by the people of Canada. 
The political successes of the Administration of Taft were 
never more than partially complete. The failures were 
notorious and disastrous. 

The world was moving toward new ideals on peace be- 
tween 1909 and 1913, and was changing its physical habits 
Hudson- ^^^^ ^^^ ideas. On September 25, 1909, a few 
Fulton cele- days after Taft started West to explain the 

Payne-Aldrich tariff to the people, the State of 
New York celebrated with pomp and ceremony the three 
hundredth anniversary of the arrival of Hendrik Hudson, 
and the hundredth anniversary of the work of Robert Fulton. 
The tiny replica of the Half Moon and the reproduction 
of the clumsy Clermont called attention to the changes of 
one century and three. The naval review, in which great 
European powers participated with the United States, re- 
vealed the revolutionary influence of steam and steel upon 
the course of naval war, while the attention of the observers 
was shifted from the earth and its waters to the air, as Wil- 
bur Wright circled the Statue of Liberty in his airplane. 

Aviation was still a novelty that turned men's heads to 

gape in admiration at a passing plane. For generations 

, . , its experimenters had struggled with ridicule and 

Mechanical . • -^ 1 ^1 t 1 

andscien- Ignorance m its advancement, and many had 
tificprog- jgjj down their lives in its service. In 1903 

ress , . . 

Orville and Wilbur Wright, working together, 
made their earliest flights in power-driven planes. The 
gasoline engine made possible the attainment of success. 
In the next six years their mastery of the air was increased, 
and imitators multiplied by hundreds throughout the world. 
In July, 1909, Orville Wright performed tests for endurance 
and distance exacted by the War Department before the 
acceptance of its first signal corps airplane. For one hour, 
nine minutes, and thirty-one seconds he circled above Wash- 
ington carrying a passenger with him in his biplane. Two 
days earlier a Frenchman, Louis B16riot, flew his monoplane 
across the English Channel to the cliffs at Dover, while in 


Germany Count Zeppelin's third dirigible made its course 
from Friedrichshafen to Berlin in August. The conquest of 
the air was not yet complete, but it was well begun. 

Earlier in the year 1909 the world had had a signal dem- 
onstration of the achievements of science. At daybreak on 
January 23 the White Star steamship, Republic, outbound 
from New York, was rammed when off Nantucket light- 
ship by a tramp freighter. From his wireless cabin Jack 
Binns, the wireless operator, sent out his CQD signal of 
distress, which was picked up at a distance by the Baltic, 
Lucania, and La Lorraine, with the result that although 
the Republic foundered in her distress, her passengers were 
saved. Three years later, in April, 1912, another demon- 
stration of the imperative need for wireless at sea started a 
train of laws that made it compulsory for ocean-going vessels 
to carry the new tool. The Titanic, fresh from her builders* 
hands and the largest vessel in the world, rammed an iceberg 
on her maiden voyage, and sank, carrying with her nearly 
fifteen hundred passengers and crew. The survivors, drift- 
ing in their lifeboats and on their rafts, were rescued by 
the Carpathia, that had picked up the signal of distress 
fifty-six miles away, and pushed at top speed through the 
floes of ice toward the scene of the accident. 

Among the spectators of the Hudson-Fulton celebration, 
none attracted more attention than Commodore Robert E. 
Peary on the bridge of his yacht Roosevelt, and fresh from 
his discovery of the North Pole on April 6, 1909. He, too, 
had terminated a long and gallant struggle for a sporting 
chance. His glory was dimmed by the fact that another 
American explorer was claiming to have reached the Pole 
a year earlier on April 21, 1908. The discovery of the hid- 
den places of the world was nearly over; on December 16, 
191 1, Captain Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian, reached the 
South Pole in the heart of the Antarctic highlands. 

The steamboat, airplane, and wireless had conquered the 
water and the air. The motor car was changing the charac- 
ter of transportation, life, and business on the land. At the 
end of Taft's Administration nearly a million and a quarter 


motor cars were registered in the United States. Ninety 
f)er cent of them were gasoline pleasure craft and their 
average cost was under one thousand dollars. The automo- 
bile had made its appearance in the closing years of the 
last century. There were under a thousand in the United 
States in 1900. The development of the pneumatic tire 
by the bicycle industry of the preceding decade had made it 
possible for the horseless carriage to travel smoothly and 
safely over the highways. The study of the gasoline engine 
that automobile manufacturing entailed made aviation pos- 
sible. From a status as a toy or as an extravagance, the 
motor car in 1909 was becoming a commonplace utility. 
The horse retained his place to draw the carriage upon state 
occasions until the end of Taft's Administration, but the 
White House stables were filled with touring cars before the 
carriages were relegated to obscurity. 


In addition to the illustrated and technical articles to be found in the 
National Geographic Magazine and the American Journal of International 
LaWf the following books on diplomatic themes are of use: Carl Russell 
Fish, American Dipl^miacy (1915); Henry Cabot Lodge, One Hundred 
Years of Peace (19 13); George L. Beer, The English-Speaking Peoples 
(1917); William Howard Taft, The UnUed States and Peace (1914); Albert 
Bushnell Hart, The Monrce Doctrine, an Interpretation (1916); and M. W» 
Williams, Anglo-American Isthmian Diplomacy, j8js-jqis (1916). James 
Bryce published South America, Observations and Impressions (19 12), and 
University and Historical Addresses (19 13). Robert E. Peary, The North 
Poky its Discovery in igog (19 10), is a standard work. The illustrated 
papers published much material in connection with the Hudson-Fulton 
celebration that serves to illustrate the advances in science and mechanics. 



The National Progressive Republican League was organized 
on January 23, 191 1, with Jonathan Bourne, of Oregon, as 
president. Its program included a group of jheNa- 
mechanical reforms made necessary, its leaders ^'^^^^} P*"^ 

•^ , gressive Re- 

declared, because, ** popular government in publican 
America has been thwarted, and progressive ^-^8:ue 
legislation strangled,*' by corrupt interests which '* dictate 
nominations and platforms, elect administrations, legis- 
latures, representatives in Congress, and United States 
Senators, and control cabinet officers/* The reforms ad- 
vocated by the league began with the demand for the direct 
elections of United States Senators, direct election of dele- 
gates to national conventions, and direct primaries for the 
nomination of elective officers. The initiative, referendum, 
and recall were included in the list as suitable for State 
enactment, as well as a corrupt practices act. The move- 
m?'nt thus crystallized in a formal organization was the out- 
come of the experiences of the insurgents in their controversy 
in 1909 and 1910. Its immediate aim was to capture the 
control of the Republican Party machinery, to defeat the 
renomination of Taft in 1912, and to nominate and elect a 
Progressive Republican. 

The Republican split presaged by the formation of the 
Progressive League followed an old line of cleavage. Roose- 
velt contended with the tendency throughout Taft and 
his presidency, and until 1904 conducted himself P^^^ ®P^*^ 
as though he expected to become the leader of reform. 
The schism was founded upon a belief, widespread and 
genuine, that the people were losing control of their gov- 
ernment, and it was accentuated by personal ambition. 
The selection of Taft by Roosevelt as his heir-apparent was 
resented by other leaders who were thus debarred from 


their chance to enter contests for the nomination, and who 
believed that their devotion to good government was as 
sound as his. The leaders of this group looked on without 
regret when Taft showed himself unable to dominate the 
political situation as Roosevelt had done. Their experi- 
ence with patronage showed them his weakness as a party 
disciplinarian. He withheld appointments from the insur- 
gent Congressmen and then restored them ; and wavered in 
his statements as to whether he regarded them as within 
the party or outside. 

After the defeat of 1910 the Democrats made haste to 
consolidate their victory and Taft failed to narrow the Re- 
publican split. He suffered acute rebuffs upon Canadian 
reciprocity and British arbitration, while the single sched- 
ule tariff bills of the Underwood-La FoUette combination 
caused him constant embarrassment. The Sixty-Second 
Congress, called in 191 1 to pass the reciprocity agreement, 
remained in session to legislate upon the tariff. The pur- 
pose was not to make a new tariff, but to make trouble for 
Taft A revision of the notorious Schedule K of the Payne- 
Aldrich Act was passed by a combination of Democrats and 
insurgents, and was vetoed by Taft on August 17. '* Much 
has been made of La Follette*s offhand statement that it 
was put together with * blacksmith's tools,' *' commented the 
Nation upon it. "But they are better than the burglar's 
tools with something very like which the woolen schedule 
was got into the Payne-Aldrich act." A farmer's free-list 
bill was vetoed on the following day and a cotton bill a little 
later. By these maneuvers Taft was forced into the position 
of advocating a ''stand-pat" tariff policy against the pro- 
gressive efforts of both Progressives and Democrats. 

In the autumn of 191 1 the Progressive Republican 
League held a conference at Chicago where it endorsed the 
La Foilette candidacy of La FoUette for the nomination as 
and the President in 1912, and in the closing months 

of the year the Progressive revolt gained such 
weight that it ceased to be a forlorn insurrection and gave 
promise of becoming revolution and victory. Through the 


winter of 191 2 Republicans who had remained indifferent 
to Progressivism reached the conclusion that Taft could not 
be reelected. They reached the conclusion also that Sena- 
tor La Follette's Progressive leadership was local in charac- 
ter, and lacked the persuasiveness necessary in a winning 
candidate. They wished to win and as Progressivism prom- 
ised possible victory, they wished a different leader. "Good 
judges of political situations were announcing it as their 
deliberate conviction that La FoUette had a fair chance of 
getting the republican nomination," wrote Herbert Quick. 
On February 2, 191 2, La FoUette spoke at a public meeting 
in Philadelphia. His physical condition was such as to 
suggest to his hearers that a nervous collapse impended, 
and his enemies gave it wide publicity. Many of the Pro- 
gressives seized the occasion to follow Gifford Pinchot and 
other La FoUette supporters, and abandoned La FoUette 
in the hope of influencing Theodore Roosevelt to reenter 
politics and contest the nomination. , 

During February, 191 2, the pressure upon Colonel Roose- 
velt increased. The Chicago Tribune led in organizing the 
demand that he become a candidate for a third Roosevelt 
term. Political friends who saw no way of win- ^^^^ 
ning except with him as candidate, urged him to resume the 
party leadership. Seven Republican governors wrote him a 
letter urging him to become a candidate. On February 24 
he yielded to the pressure and in reply to the appeal of 
the seven governors announced his intention to enter the 
contest and remain there until the end. He had become 
convinced that Taft had fallen into the hands of the con- 
servative Republicans, and that his policies could be saved 
only by himself. A few days before formally entering the 
contest he discussed the fundamental reforms in govern- 
ment before the Ohio Constitutional Convention. 

A flood of denunciation greeted the return of Roosevelt. 
His old Republican enemies, who had fought him as Presi- 
dent, and were enraged at his advocacy of the *'new na- 
tionalism," denounced him as a revolutionist, as carried 
away by ambition, and as desiring to get into the White 


House for life. ''Occasionally," he commented upon this 
attack, **my more gloomy foes have said that I wanted to 
be a king. I wanted to answer them that they did not know 
kings as I did. Now, I like those kings, but I don't want 
to be one because the function of a modem constitutional 
king . . . would be the function of a life vice-president with 
the leadership of the four hundred thrown in. And I think 
that there are other jobs that a full-sized man would pre- 
fer." The third term tradition was brought into the dis- 
cussion to discredit the candidate. His own declaration of 
1904, as well as the unwritten law that had prevailed since 
the days of Washington, were cited against him. He brushed 
these objections away by alluding to a breakfast-table 
episode. "When I say that I do not wish a third cup of 
coffee, it does not mean that I shall never want another 

The bitterness of conservative Republicans was more 
than matched by that of Senator La FoUette, sore at the 
Fight for desertion he had suffered, believing that Roose- 
convention velt was treacherously seizing his position, and 

convinced that Roosevelt's Progressivism was 
only one of words. In the contest for delegates that ensued, 
the great debate lay between the supporters of the renomi- 
nation of Taf t and the advocates of Roosevelt, while a small 
but irreconcilable La FoUette group pursued them both. 

The Republican National Conunittee had called the con- 
vention before the Roosevelt candidacy was launched. 
The Southern delegates as usual were being chosen under 
Administration auspices, while in States where conservative 
Republicans controlled, the delegations were instructed to 
vote for Taft. In a period of less than four months Roose- 
velt strove to overturn the political habits of a generation, 
and used as his principal lever the demand for a direct 
primary, that the people might rule. He denounced the 
convention system as a mechanism of the bosses, and the 
Southern delegations as corrupt. Like Andrew Jackson, in 
1824, he demanded a reform in order to let his supporters 
attain their will. As Jackson had then broken up the caucus 


system, so Roosevelt and his supporters tried to destroy 
the convention system. His claim that the voters were with 
him if the leaders were not, was borne out in those States 
where preference primaries existed or were adopted by 
special legislative sessions at his demand. In Illinois in 
April he swept the State, as he did Pennsylvania a little 
later. His ringing appeals for honest popular government 
drowned the utterances of the other candidates. In the 
Southern States, where the Administration controlled all of 
the party machinery, his friends organized irregular con- 
testing delegations for what Frank A. Munsey called the 
"moral effect." 

The Republican National Committee met in Chicago on 
June 6, twelve days ahead of the meeting of the convention, 
in order to prepare the preliminary roll, and _ ^, 
hear the contests upon more than two hundred uonal 
and fifty delegates. Of the 1078 delegates on ancToSntiSs 
the list, Roosevelt possessed 411 instructed for 
him and uncontested. Of the rest about 250 were for other 
candidates, Taft, La FoUette, or Cummins without contest, 
and the same number claimed for Taft were contested by 
Roosevelt delegations. With less than a majority of all 
the delegates the only hope of securing the nomination lay 
in inducing the convention to rule out the votes of all con- 
testing delegates upon preliminary organization. In spite 
of the fact that many of the contests were frivolous in char- 
acter, all of them were pressed with vigor. As the Na- 
tional Committee filed its preliminary opinion on them, 
and listed Taft delegates on the temporary roll, Roosevelt 
hastened to Chicago in person to conduct his fight. He 
arrived there on the Saturday before the convention met 
and immediately spoke from the balcony of the Congress 
Hotel to an enthusiastic crowd that blocked Michigan 
Avenue, denouncing the quashing of his contests as ''naked 
theft'' on the part of the National Committee. 

The leading members of the National Committee con- 
trolled the machinery of the convention and were too old 
at politics to be intimidated. They had determined to 


nominate Taft whether the party wished him or not, and 
Taft and this they did, driving the "steam roller" of the 
Sherman organization over ail obstructions amid the 
derisive hoots of the contesting faction. Following its 
ancient practice, the convention permitted delegations 
seated by the National Committee to vote, whether con- 
tested or not. Elihu Root was elected chairman of the con- 
vention, Taft and Sherman were renominated, and the party 
platform was written by conservative Republicans. The 
Roosevelt delegates sat silent on the final roll-calls, and 
when the convention adjourned conferred with their leader 
in a mass meeting at which they decided to return to their 
homes, consult their constituents, and come back to Chi- 
cago in another nationsd convention in August, there to 
oi^anize a new Progressive Party. 

The Democratic Party Convention met in Baltimore on 
June 25, 1912, exhilarated by the vision of success opened 
The ^^ them by the Republican split in Chicago. 

Democratic Their leaders in the House of Representatives 

Convention • , ^ ^ . • ^1 • • -^ 

had spent two years m preparing their majority 
to receive such an opportunity. One of them. Champ 
Clark, the Speaker, was supported by half the delegates, 
but the old Democratic rule of two thirds for a nomination 
made his selection anything but certain. The party was no 
longer the group of disorganized factions that had contested 
the last three presidential elections. Clark and Underwood 
had shown themselves skillful party leaders, and the re- 
action in 19 10 had strengthened the group of Democratic 
governors. Four of these were seriously considered as can- 
didates. Folk, of Missouri, had earned his position as a 
prosecutor of fraud and corruption. Harmon, of Ohio, 
shared with Taft the distinction of early opposition to 
trusts. Marshall, of Indiana, had reestablished Democratic 
control in a doubtful State, and was devoting himself to the 
modernizing of an outgrown constitution. Wilson, in New 
Jersey, two years removed from the presidency of Prince- 
ton, was the strongest of the group. 
Woodrow Wilson, Virginian by birth, was one of the most 


distinguished graduates of Princeton when he assumed its 
presidency in 1902. In his student years he be- Woodrow 
longed to the group of brilliant young men drawn ^^^^^ 
to Johns Hopkins to study history and politics. His 
doctor's thesis on Congressional Government was nearly 
contemporary with Bryce's American Commonwealth^ and 
ranked with it in penetration and insight. Through the 
nineties he was one of the notable lecturers at Princeton, 
and one of the most widely quoted historical essayists of 
the United States. A university, in his view, was a "place 
where ideals are kept in heart, in an air they can breathe ; 
but no fools* paradise. A place where to learn the truth 
about the past and hold debate about the affairs of the 
present, with knowledge and without passion." As presi- 
dent of Princeton his struggle to democratize college life 
destroyed the effectiveness of his leadership. The unwill- 
ingness of the institution and its alumni to be reshaped 
defeated him, but the world outside became conscious of 
a new expression of the ideals of democracy. George 
Harvey, editor of Harper's Weekly, thought he found in 
Wilson the hope of the Democratic Party, one who could 
inspire with new ideals and be free from the heresies of 

In 1910, beaten at Princeton, and ready to resign on aca- 
demic grounds, Wilson accepted the Democratic nomina- 
tion for governor of New Jersey and was elected. He 
plunged immediately into a partisan contest in the politics 
of his State, and proved a devotion to the principle of ma- 
jority rule by holding his party to the preference it had ex- 
pressed in a senatorial primary for James Martine for Sen- 
ator. If the party had anticipated the complete victory 
it secured, Martine could not have gained the preference 
vote; and practical leaders wished to throw him over after 
the unexpected success. The stubborn insistence of Gov- 
ernor Wilson that the party leaders must play the game 
fairly resulted in the election of Martine and the wider 
advertisement of the fact that a new personality was 
emerging in Democratic- politics. A series of anti-trust 


laws put through the New Jersey Legislature at his instance 
indicated his acceptance of the general progressive doctrine. 

William Jennings Bryan was the most prominent figure 
in the Baltimore Convention, but was not a candidate. The 
real leader of his party, he espoused no candidate, but ob- 
structed the nomination of any one whose two-thirds ma- 
jority would have to include the votes of the New York 
delegation. He insisted that the party nominate some one 
entirely free from the taint of Tammany support. Through 
forty-five ballots the convention struggled in its endeavor 
to make a nomination. The majority of Clark could not 
be made two thirds without Tammany. The favorite 
sons weakened one by one until on the forty-sixth ballot 
Woodrow Wilson was nominated for the presidency. Gov- 
ernor Thomas R. Marshall, of Indiana, became his com- 
panion on the ticket. 

In the early days of August the bull moose, as the emblem 

of the Progressive Party, was added to the elephant of the 

G.O.P. and the Democratic donkey. At an 

gressive enthusiastic convention in Chicago, that re- 

Party and called the nervous excitement of the canvass of 


1840 and the devotional intensity of the Popu- 
lists in Cincinnati in 1891, the Progressives nominated The- 
odore Roosevelt and Governor Hiram Johnson, of Cali- 
fornia, to the tune of **Onward, Christian Soldiers." Their 
platform included the reforms that the insurgents had made 
popular as well as a long list of other reforms whose advo- 
cates had seen no chance for success. The program was 
one of social betterment to be attained by an improved 
political machine responsive to the people. Social workers 
like Jane Addams, who had struggled against the forces of 
vicious politics in behalf of the less fortunate members of 
society, saw in the new party an avenue to the promised 
land. Militant fighters of corporations like Hiram John- 
son brought their party methods to its support. Woman 
suffrage was advocated and the attempt was made to gain 
the votes of women wherever these were counted. The new 
party included, in addition to its professionsd politicsd lead- 


ers and its share of the time-servers in politics, "a brave 
band of reformers who do not think in terms of practical 
political organization, but who regarded the progressive 
party as humanity's cause, and were for it without end, 
whether it were big enough to be political or small enough to 
be negligible/' And around its margin hovered the im- 
practicable group whom Roosevelt jovisdly described as the 
** lunatic fringe." 

The remnants of the Populist Party held a meeting in St. 
Louis a week after the Progressive Convention. The local 
reporter observed that they had changed from the Populists 
of twenty years before. They made no nominees, for their 
work was done. Most of their original planks were either 
incorporated in the platform of the new party or already 
accepted by the older organizations. 

The canvass of 1912 was less bitter than the pre-con- 
vention struggle had been. The three personalities before 
the public were such as to permit few personal attacks. 
The noisy and confident appeal of the Progressives met 
with wide sympathy in both parties, for the trend of a dec- 
ade had been to convince the bulk of the voters that the 
United States needed a less reactionary program than the 
Republican machine could offer. Taft was in general held 
in high personal esteem, but it was believed that his political 
associates were undesirable. Progressive-minded voters 
cast their ballots in November for much the same reasons 
that had prevailed in 1908. They were forced to guess 
whether the progressive principles would stand a better 
chance with Roosevelt or with Wilson. In 1908 it had been 
Taft or Bryan. The charge of the Progressive Party that 
the Republican National Committee had stolen the nomina- 
tion for Taft affected only those voters who had already 
determined how to vote. The charge of Roosevelt that 
Taft had bitten the hand that fed him had no more effect. 
In October the canvass nearly ended in tragedy when an 
attempt was made to assassinate Roosevelt in Milwaukee. 
His rivals stopped their contest until he was convalescent 
and able to reenter the struggle. 


When the votes were counted it was made clear that 
Roosevelt had conducted the most successful of all third- 
Democratic party struggles. With a new party oi^aniza- 
victory ^[^^ hurriedly thrown together in the heat of 

the engagement he polled over four million votes, and ran 
well ahead of the regular Republican candidate. The di- 
vision of the Republican strength, however, had its nat- 
ural consequence. For the third time since the Civil War 
Republican dissension elected a Democratic President. 
The combined Republican and Progressive vote was 
7,500,000 against 6,291,000 for Wilson. With fewer votes 
than Bryan received each time he was defeated, Woodrow 
Wilson was elected as a minority President. Taft and 
Nicholas Murray Butler — for Sherman had died during 
the canvass and a new vice-presidential nomination had 
been made by the National Committee — received the elec- 
toral vote of only two States, Utah and Vermont. 

Eugene V. Debs, who ran for the presidency on the So- 
cialist ticket, as he had done since 1900, received 897,000 
votes. These were variously interpreted as evidence of 
a rising tide of socialism or as the result of the inability of 
voters to decide which of the more important leaders to 
support. In the Mugwump campaign in 1884 voters dis- 
gusted with both Cleveland and Blaine voted the Prohibi- 
tion ticket. Now many similar votes were counted for Debs. 


William J. Bryan described the national conventions in A Tale of Two 
Conventions (191 2), and all of the weekly papers gave much space to the 
contest. Collier's Weekly^ closely identified with the Progressive move- 
ment, wavered during the canvass between Roosevelt and Wilson, and 
when its proprietors determined to come out for the former, its editor, 
Norman Hapgood, gave up his chair. La FolleUe's Weekly presents the 
point of view of Progressives who felt themselves betrayed by the turn of 
events, as does Robert M. La Follette, Autobiography (19 13). George 
Haven Putnam, Memories of a Publisher (19 15), gives a brief account of the 
Wilson movement in 19 12. Fred E. Haynes, Third Party Movements since 
the Civil War, with Special Reference to Iowa (19 16), is a convenient sum- 
mary of the antecedents of Progressivism. A recent autobiography is 
Champ Clark, My Quarter Century of American Politics (1920). 



WooDROW Wilson, elected to the presidency in 1912 by 
default, was neither the deliberate choice of the people nor 
the political leader of his party. He was a a minority 
minority President, successful only because the Preadent 
majority party was nullifying its own effort. He had not 
been long enough in politics to acquire the devoted follow- 
ing of a Roosevelt, Bryan, or McKinley. His selection by 
his own party was based on the negative merit of availa- 
bility rather than preference. Among the intellectuals he 
was widely known and appreciated, and as governor of New 
Jersey he had shown vigor for reform and promise of leader- 
ship. But William Jennings Bryan, whom he had a few 
years earlier desired to see '* knocked into a cocked hat," 
was the controlling ruler of the Democratic Party. His 
immediate predecessor, Taft, had suffered because the real 
leader, Roosevelt, was alive and active. President Harri- 
son had been embarrassed because James G. Blaine was a 
greater man than he. The cl^ances were all against Wil- 
son's ability to dominate his own party, and to make that 
party lead the country. 

The new Cabinet was not announced until after the in- 
auguration, but the rumor correctly stated the fact that 
Bryan was to be Secretary of State. No other Wilson's 
Cabinet officer was widely known as a political ^b"*«<^ 
administrator, and none was identified with the wealthy 
and fashionable society that had been visible in Washing- 
ton under Taft and Roosevelt. William G. McAdoo, Sec- 
retary of the Treasury, was chiefly known because of the 
river tunnels which he had recently provided for New York 
City, and his vigorous work in the recent campaign. Jo- 
sephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, had relatives in 
the naval service, but was himself editor of the Raleigh, 


North Carolina, Observer, and without special technical 
qualifications for his post. Franklin K. Lane brought to 
the Interior Department long experience gained in the 
Interstate Commerce Commission. David F. Houston 
came directly from the presidency of a Western university 
to the Department of Agriculture. William B. Wilson, a 
veteran labor leader, took charge of the newly created 
Department of Labor. The remaining members had their 
reputations still before them, and no member of the Cab- 
inet had been long identified with the management of 

The Democratic Party, now in power for the first time 
since Grover Cleveland, had no specific policy in 1913. 
Demoralized by nearly twenty years of opposition, it had 
few constructive leaders, and was as badly divided upon 
the current issues as the Republican Party. It no longer 
adhered to the Cleveland policy of a tariff for revenue only, 
but was content with a tariff revision that should eliminate 
the most glaring abuses without destroying the principle 
of protection. Its last great passion, free silver, had be- 
come unimportant with the lapse of years. 

It was necessary for President Wilson to outline policies 
for his party as well as to improvise its leaders. With no 
illusions as to the nature of his election, he saw that per- 
sonal and party success would depend upon his ability to 
carry with him the progressive groups in both great parties. 
He might successfully disregard the Bourbon faction of his 
own party, which was quite as reactionary as the most 
** stand-pat" Republicans, and which might be forced into 
caucus and held in line by party pressure; but there could 
be only failure for the President who could not see that the 
public that desired the Roosevelt policies in 1908 still de- 
manded them, and with greater definiteness. Between his 
election and inauguration Wilson spoke at Staunton, Chi- 
cago, and Trenton upon the constructive work proposed 
for his Administration, and promised that an effort should 
be made to settle adequately the three problems outstand- 
ing for a generation, of tariff, finance, and trusts. There 


was no intention in his mind to wait for Congress to act 
upon its own initiative, as Taf t had done. The theory of 
the presidency that Hayes and Cleveland had glimpsed, 
and Roosevelt had followed, was that of Wilson. "The 
President is at liberty, both in law and conscience, to be as 
big a man as he can. His capacity will set the limit," he 
had written while yet a professor. **He has no means of 
compelling Congress except through public opinion." 

Congress was summoned to meet in special session on 
April 7, 1913, to take up its action in fulfilling party 
pledges, as Woodrow Wilson interpreted them. Tariff 
In both houses there was a Democratic majority ^^e^ision 
for the first time since 1893-95. In the House of Repre- 
sentatives there was physical reorganization as well . Stead- 
ily since the Civil War each census had shown an enlarged 
population for the country, and Congress had apportioned 
Representatives among the States in accordance with it. 
The number of seats to be provided had steadily grown 
until in the Sixty-Third Congress now assembling there 
were 435 members. In the old Hall of Representatives 
each member had had his separate desk and chair, and 
many of them had spent their time during sessions reading 
the newspapers and signing their correspondence. The 
Senate, with its smaller membership, retained the sem- 
blance of a parliamentary body, but the House was noisy, 
inattentive, and more badly congested as to space, as each 
new apportionment bill increased the number of desks and 
chairs to be accommodated . For many years parliamentary 
reformers urged a physical reconstruction of the chamber, 
that it might become an auditorium large enough to ac- 
commodate its members, small enough for them to hear 
debate, and free from the distractions of members' private 
business. The completion of the new office buildings for 
the members of the Senate and House removed the last ar- 
gument in favor of the individual desks. The new Con- 
gress met in a reconstructed hall with the desks gone, and 
with concentric benches facing the Speaker; with a great 
table facing him for Oscar W. Underwood, chairman erf 


the Committee on Ways and Means and leader of the ma- 
jority, and another for James R. Mann, leader of the 

The physical novelty m the reconstructed House was out- 
classed by the political novelty, when the President re- 
Presidential verted from the usage of a century to the prac- 
leadership ^^ ^f Washington and Adams, and appeared 

in person to deliver his message. While the House was 
growing larger in the last half -century, messages had been 
growing longer, and their thousands of words droned by 
official readers to an inattentive Congress had lacked in 
inspiration and result. By reading the mess2^e himself. 
President Wilson invited attention to its content, and by 
condensing it to a few hundred words, he made it impossi- 
ble for any one to ignore his meaning. *' It is clear to the 
whole country that the tariff duties must be altered," he 
said. "They must be changed to meet the radical altera- 
tion in the conditions of our economic life which the country 
has witnessed within the last generation. . . . Consciously 
or unconsciously, we have built up a set of privileges and 
exemptions from competition behind which it was easy by 
any, even the crudest, forms of combination to organize a 
monopoly ; until at last nothing is normal, nothing is obliged 
to stand the tests of efficiency and economy in our world 
of big business, but everything thrives by concerted ar- 
rangement. . . . We are to deal with the facts of our own 
day, with the facts of no other, and to make laws that square 
with those facts." He demanded that Congress begin with 
a revision of the tariff and served notice that at a later 
time he might call their attention **to reforms that should 
press close upon the heels of the tariff changes, if not ac- 
company them, of which the chief is the reform of our bank- 
ing and currency laws." 

The Underwood Bill, ready for introduction when Con- 
Underwood- gress convened, was the product of special stud- 
Simmons ies in the last session, and of the single schedule 


bills of the preceding Congress. It passed the 
House unamended in May as a triumph of party manip- 


ulation. Only five Democrats voted against it on final 
passage, although a considerably larger number disliked 
serious revision. During the debate rumors were heard 
that the lobby that had usually accompanied tariff debates 
was again on hand, trying to secure special favors in the 
schedules. The President immediately made public chaiige 
that such a lobby was interfering with the freedom of de- 
bate, and in the Senate a committee to investigate the lobby 
began its sessions early in June. By these tactics the lobby 
was placed at great disadvantage and it was made easier 
for Congressmen to be faithful to the party purpose. The 
Underwood-Simmons tariff passed the Senate early in Sep- 
tember with two Progressive Republicans, La FoUette and 
Poindexter, supporting it, and was everywhere regarded as 
a personal victory for the President in holding his party 
together. The difficulties in maintaining Democratic unity 
were greatest in the case of the sugar schedule, where free 
sugar was bitterly opposed by Democratic members from 
beet-sugar or cane-sugar areas. The iron rule of the party 
caucus was exerted over these. The average rates of tariff 
were reduced from a level of about thirty-seven per cent to 
that of twenty-seven per cent, and the free list was enlarged 
to include wool, cotton, hemp, and flax, and other agricul- 
tural products. The Sixteenth Amendment authorizing the 
levying of an income tax, which was submitted to the 
States during the Payne-Aldrich debate, was now in force. 
An income tax was accordingly included in the Underwood- 
Simmons Bill, based upon a one per cent rate on incomes 
over four thousand dollars and rising on incomes above 
twenty thousand. The best experience for determining its 
probable yield came from Wisconsin, where such a tax had 
been effective since 191 1. The principle of an expert tariff 
conunission, for which Taft and Roosevelt had contended, 
was abandoned. It was recalled three years later, when 
the World War had changed the course of trade. A Tariff 
Commission was created in September, 191 6, and placed 
under the direction of F. W. Taussig as chairman. 
The prestige of the President was high when he signed 


the Underwood-Simmons Bill on October 3, 19 13. His 
leadership kept the principle of revision downward always 
to the front. The protectionists and Democrats, who had 
worked against their party in the Mills Bill (1888) and 
Wilson Bill (1894) debates, were coerced into party loyalty. 
The lobby was discredited, and investigation of it and of 
party campaign funds of recent years emboldened timid 
Congressmen to disregard local pressure. The day after 
its passage Underwood announced his candidacy for a 
vacant seat in the Senate from Alabama, and in the fol- 
lowing spring, in an election under the new Seventeenth 
Amendment, carried his State over Richmond Pearson 
Hobson, the hero of the Merrimac, and an advocate of pro- 
hibition. Congress meanwhile entered upon the second 
chapter of its task, the revision of the financial laws. 

The Aldrich Monetary Commission, created by Congress 
after the panic of 1907, prepared an elaborate series of 
Monetary Studies in the fields of banking, currency, and 
investiga- panics, and was forced to terminate its labors 

in 191 2. Before its final report was ready for 
publication so much odium was attached to the name of its 
chairman as to destroy the immediate utility of any recom- 
mendation he should make. Aldrich had been the great 
tariff specialist in the Senate since his entry into that body 
in time to participate in making the tariff of 1883. He was 
a consistent advocate of high protection, and enjoyed the 
steady support of the great manufacturing interests that 
came under attack between 1900 and 1908. His participa- 
tion in the framing of the tariff bill that bore his name made 
him a target for Progressive attacks, which were made 
worse by his identification with the '* stand-pat" group 
that insisted upon nominating Taft in 1912. His studies 
of the banking situation, more painstaking than those of 
any other Congressman, led him to the advocacy of a 
central bank; but the idea of a central bank had been 
unpopular since Andrew Jackson destroyed the Second 
Bank of the United States, and Aldrich's own connection 
with big business was such as to make a large portion 


of the public suspicious of any scheme that he might rec- 

The financial situation was bad and was steadily growing 
worse. The control of credit was subject to misuse or 
abuse, the currency itself failed to inspire confidence in its 
solidity, and there was a strong suspicion that the trust 
movement had extended its clutches into the field of finance 
as well as into that of industry and transportation. So 
far as the currency was concerned, the slight margin by 
which free silver was avoided in 1896 frightened sober 
thinkers into making serious studies of the money problem. 
The ordinary money of exchange — gold, silver, subsidi- 
ary coinage, gold certificates, silver certificates, Civil War 
greenba9ks, Sherman Act legal tenders, and national bank 
notes — circulated at par only because of the public promise 
to redeem it in gold coin. The legal reserve of $150,000,000 
was inadequate to meet any real crisis. In the panic of 
1907 fear that the Treasury might not maintain the gold 
basis was everywhere felt and led to hoarding of all varieties 
of currency. In violation of the law, the clearing-houses 
were compelled to issue notes of their own, based upon col- 
lateral, in order to avoid the worse evil of financial collapse. 
The national bank notes, instead of providing a flexible 
element in the currency were so circumscribed by law as to 
have an opposite tendency. There was no elasticity in the 
system to provide for seasonal expansion to move the crops 
in the fall, or emergency issues to forestall panics. The 
Aldrich-Vreeland Bill of 1908 made moderate provision for 
this need, but left the question of credit control untouched. 

Having no public control, the banks and trust companies 
had neither guidance nor restriction in the use of credit. 
They operated on a strictly competitive basis, and when in 
periods of great speculation it became profitable to deposit 
their funds in New York banks where stock gamblers could 
use them, thither the money went regardless of the more 
prosaic daily requirements of business for commercial 
credit. The merchant, who needed to discount his notes 
as regularly as he bought his coal or paid his rent, found that 


the speculator received preferential treatment at the banks. 
The Aldrich Commission, with the assistance of banking ex- 
perts and economists, worked upon methods whereby the 
speculative use of credit might be curtailed in order to make 
more certain provision for commerce. There was lack of 
flexibility in the control of credit as of currency. Huge 
balances were apt to accumulate and lie idle, while Western 
farmers were clamoring for credit. There was need for 
greater fluidity in order to permit the funds to flow freely 
where they were most needed. 

The existence of a money trust was made much of by 
Progressive leaders, who charged that the control of credit 
was monopolized as completely as industry and railroads. 
They declared that a few great banks, controlling billions 
of deposits and controlled by small groups of directors, 
made it impossible for outsiders to procure the credit to 
build new railroads or construct new industries, while 
lending it recklessly to insiders for the further advancement 
of existing monopolies. The Progressives charged as well, 
and Democrats echoed the charge, that the directors of the 
great banks lent the money to themselves in defiance of 
sound morality if not of law. It was freely asserted, and 
great diagrams were drawn up to prove it, that a system of 
interlocking directorates was bringing the whole American 
economic life into one gigantic consolidation at the heart 
of which lay the money trust. 

The exchange of directors was a common feature in the 
financing of the trusts. The steel interests were repre- 
sented on the railroad boards, the railroads in turn were 
represented on the banking directorates, the banks placed 
members on the governing bodies of the industries that did 
business with them. It was possible to show by diagram 
how a handful of banks in Wall Street were interlocked 
with all the great railroads and industries of the country. 
The House Committee on Banking and Currency, under the 
chairmanship of A. P. Pujo, of Louisiana, made a detailed 
investigation of the money trust in 19 12, and by its report 
added to the resentment felt toward big business and to 


the odium that was attached to the idea of a central bank. 
The great financiers themselves either denied the existence 
of a money trust or smilingly admitted it and inquired, 
* * Can you unscramble eggs ? * ' The problem of business and 
financial legislation was to find a means of unscrambling 
the eggs without addling them. 

The House Committee on Banking and Currency, under 
the chairmanship of Carter Glass, of Virginia, began work 
upon financial legislation early in 191 3, and in- Federal 
troduced a banking bill in the later stages of the R««^*^^ Act 
tariff legislation. The proposal was to avoid the politically 
dangerous central bank and yet secure for the country all 
the advantages of such an institution. It was accordingly 
proposed to establish a federal reserve system in which the 
country should be divided into districts (twelve being later 
created), in each of which the local banks should become 
members of an association for the erection of a federal re- 
serve bank. The federal reserve banks were to receive on 
deposit the reserves of member banks, and it was to be 
made less easy for these reserves to accumulate in Wall 
Street. Provision was also made for the issuance of notes 
by the federal reserve banks based upon commercial secu- 
rities and other assets deposited with them by member 
banks. The federal reserve banks themselves were to be 
under the general oversight of a Federal Reserve Board 
composed partly of public officers and partly of financial 
appointees serving for a term of twelve years, the board 
being closely attached to the Treasury of the United 
States. The new financial law was endorsed by the P»^s- 
ident in an address to Congress on June 23, 1913, and 
that body plunged into the middle of the federal reserve 
debate after the passage of the Underwood-Simmons tariff. 
Fatigued by their months of labor on the tariff, they had 
hoped for a recess in the autumn, but President Wilson 
insisted that Congress stay on the job till it was done. In 
December they looked for a recess at Christmas with the 
passage of the act postponed until 191 4. Again executive 
pressure was exerted to procure legislation at once, with 


the result that the Federal Reserve Bill became a law De- 
cember 23, 1913. ** It assumed the character of a political 
miracle," wrote one of the leading economists who had 
despaired of constructive legislation on finance. Not 
more than three financial events in the history of the 
United States ranked with it in significance. The assump- 
tion of the public debt by Hamilton, the destruction of 
the Second Bank by Jackson, and the inauguration of the 
national banking system by Chase, alone are to be com- 
pared with it. The banks that protested bitterly through- 
out the debate against any governmental interference 
found that they liked it in its final passage. In the follow- 
ing year, under the direction of Secretary McAdoo, the 
new law was brought into operation, the country was di- 
vided into reserve districts, the Federal Board and the 
reserve banks began to operate. From the standpoint ol 
currency and credit the resources of the country were 
better distributed than before, and it was no mean advan- 
tage of the system that the Treasury of the United States 
no longer was forced to go to Wall Street for assistance, but 
Wall Street came to it. The act would have been im- 
possible without the prolonged financial investigations of 
the Roosevelt and Taft Administrations, but its passage by 
a Democratic Congress in the first session of a new Admin- 
istration served to increase the prestige that was attaching 
itself to the political leadership of Woodrow Wilson. 


William Bayard Hale, Woodrow Wilson: The Story of his Life (1912), 
is a campaign biography of the usual type. The monetary discussion has 
for its background the admirable studies made for the Aldrich Monetary 
Commission. These are reviewed in Wesley C. Mitchell, *'The Publica- 
tions of the National Monetary Commission," in the Quarterly Journal of 
Economics^ vol. xxv, p. 563. The working of the new law is summed up in 
E. W. Kemmerer, The A.B.C, of the Federal Reserve System (3d ed., 1919). 
The report of the Pujo Committee contains much valuable subsidiary 
material, under the title U.S. Money Trust Investigation Reports (1912-13). 
Numerous technical articles on the TariflF and Federal Reserve Acts are to 
be found in the standard journals, such as the Journal of Political Economy 
and the Quarterly Journal of Economics, 



The Sixty-Third Congress, beginning its session on April 7, 
19 1 3, sat until October 24, 19 14, making a new record for 
Congressional diligence. The Democratic party leaders, 
conscious of their uncertain tenure upon political power, 
determined to keep busy so long as the going was good, while 
their party followers submerged their personal preferences 
as they acted upon the maxim of Benjamin Franklin that 
they must hang together or hang separately. Instead of 
resting, content with the passage of two basic laws, they 
were called to renewed efforts when the President ad- 
dressed them on the subject of the trusts on January 20, 


The new Administration, acting through Attorney- 
General James C. McReynolds, was no longer spending its 
strength upon suits for the dissolution of cor- Anti-tmst 
porations. It was instead working for an am- p^^*^" 
icable dissolution of mergers by inducing big business to 
readjust its affairs voluntarily in order to come into better 
harmony with the Sherman Law. In his address to Congress 
Wilson took a course close to that outlined by Senator 
La Follette and Louis Brandeis who had gained distinction 
in the legal controversy with the trusts. A series of Ad- 
ministration bills made clear his intent, and included a 
better definition of unlawful monopoly and restraint of 
trade than the Sherman Act had given; defined a new list 
of unfair trade practices and forbade them; provided for 
the regulation of corporation directorates and prohibited 
their interlocking; and finally created a commission to 
stand toward interstate trade in the relationship already 
held by the Interstate Commerce Conmiission toward trans- 

The general drift of trust legislation as proposed gives 


evidence to the determination of the President to hold his 
party together by strict party discipline and to secure the 
enactment, not of party measures, but of the non-partisan 
program of the progressive citizens whom he believed to 
constitute the bulk of both great parties. The debate over 
the trusts was thirty years old. It had produced only one 
basic restraining law, whose intent was to abolish the 
combinations rather than control them. The renewal of 
the debate behind the leadership of Roosevelt had devel- 
oped doubts as to whether abolition was either wise or 
possible, and had brought out a distinction between good 
trusts and bad. In their platforms of 19 12 the Demo- 
cratic and Progressive parties had taken different views 
of the problem; the former, adhering to the doctrine of 
the Sherman Act, demanded that the law be made more 
stringent to restore free competition and break up the 
trusts. The Progressives, however, recommended a dis- 
crimination between the useful and injurious forms of 
combination, a definition of unfair practices, and the cre- 
ation of federal machinery to watch the trusts. It was this 
Progressive program that Wilson supported more nearly 
than that of his own party. 

The financial legislation of 1913 touched a large portion 
of the trust problem In the Federal Reserve Act the 
Finance banks and the people were reconciled, leaving 
and trusts ^j^^ j-^g^ ^f ^j^^ problem much easier of solution. 

In 1914, while Congress was debating its next steps, the 
banks were cheerfully preparing to enter into the new 
relationship of the federal reserve system. Decentralized 
reserves, flexibility of currency, and public control were 
established over the financial world. 

After eight months of debate the trust legislation was 
enacted without encountering partisan opposition. On 
Federal September 26, 19 14, the Federal Trade Com- 

Trade mission was created to represent the Govern- 

ment in its oversight of the trusts. It was to 
consist of a non-partisan board of five members, the sub- 
ject-matter of whose control was defined in the Clayton 


Anti-Trust Law of October 15, 1914. The chief purpose of 
this act was to forbid interlocking directorates in business as 
they had already been forbidden in banking ; to forbid cor- 
porations having trustees in common from doing business 
with each other; to prohibit unfair trading, and to grant 
special privileges to organized labor and to farmers. A 
great obstacle in the course of anti-trust legislation was the 
attitude of organized labor which desired to see commercial 
combinations restricted, but which asserted the right of 
labor to combine freely for any purpose. Farmers gen- 
erally looked upon their own associations, organized for 
marketing purposes, as benevolent combinations rather 
than injurious. The insistence of these two groups im- 
periled the passage of the Clayton Act, until the act was 
amended to provide that the restrictions placed upon the 
trusts should not be interpreted as applying to labor or to 

Labor was closer to the Democratic Administration than 
it had been to any other. Ever since the failure of Gompers 
to induce the Republican Convention of 1908 Department 
to adopt the anti-injunction plank that he de- ^^ ^^^ 
sired, he had tended to work in harmony with the Demo- 
cratic leaders. The unnatural union contained in the 
Department of Commerce and Labor was the subject of 
criticism which resulted in its division in 1913. Taft 
signed the bill creating a Department of Labor with re- 
luctance because of his dislike to enlarge the Cabinet. 
William B. Wilson, the first Secretary of Labor, built up 
the organization of the new department, having jurisdiction 
over not only the old Bureau of Labor, but the related fields 
of immigration, naturalization, and the Children's Bureau. 

The Children's Bureau, with Julia C. Lathrop as chief, 
was created in 19 12 to promote the ''welfare of children 
and child life." It was fifty years after the time children's 
when Congress legislated for the gathering of ^^^^^ 
''all information concerning agriculture" before that body 
could be induced to take the first steps for the conservation 
of the raw material of citizenship. The experience of the 


social workers in the congested districts of great cities was 
every year making it more apparent that poverty and dis- 
ease were depriving each generation of a part of its chance 
for life. Jane Addams at Hull House in Chicago and 
Lillian D. Wald, of the Henry Street Settlement in New 
York, were leaders in the demand that a government that 
safeguarded the live-stock and the crops ought to value 
the welfare of its children Colonel Roosevelt in 1912 
drew much support from leaders like these, who saw in 
the Progressive movement a chance of meeting social 
needs. Transferred to the Department of Labor as one 
of its constituent bureaus, the Children's Bureau rapidly 
expanded the scope of its investigations and administrative 
duties for the benefits of its wards. In September, 1916, 
Congress passed an act "to prevent interstate commerce 
in the products of child labor." Such a law had been de- 
manded by progressives for ten years on humanitarian 
grounds, and received special new support now from man- 
ufacturing interests in the North and West. Most of the 
Northern States had already passed laws prohibiting the 
labor of children under fourteen years of age, but in South- 
ern States where no such law prevailed, cotton mills using 
child labor were offering a competition embarrassing to 
Northern factories using adult labor. The Keating-Owen 
Child Labor Bill, as this was called, remained in force 
for less than a year because the Supreme Court in 191 8 
declared it to be unconstitutional. The Children's Bureau 
by this date had become an active growing concern with 
many other matters receiving its attention. 

Another of the bureaus of the Department of Labor had 
administrative charge of workmen's compensation so far 
Workmen's ^ ^^ United States was concerned. With the 
compensa- progress of industrial organization, the problem 

of the industrially maimed increased in its im- 
portance. Employers' liability for injuries received by 
workmen was limited by the legal doctrines of contributory 
negligence and fellow-servant, while the amount received 
by injured workmen had to bear the expensive cost of 


litigation to secure the awards. The result was that society 
in general carried the charge of the industrial cripples and 
their dependent families instead of the industries concerned. 
In 1908 Congress passed an employers* liability law af- 
fecting common carriers engaged in interstate commerce, 
replacing an earlier law that the Supreme Court had de- 
clared unconstitutional. A series of similar laws passed by 
the States accepted the principle of workmen's compen- 
sation according to a definite scale without litigation or 
cost to the injured persons. Industry proceeded to insure 
its employees against the risk of accident and to inaugurate 
a campaign for ** safety first*' that progressively reduced 
both the risk and the accidents. So far as federal em- 
ployees were concerned, Congress passed a workmen's 
compensation act in 1908 to be administered by the old 
Department of Labor, which became the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics in the new department of 191 3. In the fields of 
child welfare and industrial accident Congress was engaged 
in stretching the limits of its power to regulate interstate 

It was no new thing for Congress to be interested in the 
education of citizens. Since 1862 the land-grant colleges, 
established under the Morrill Act, had been Educational 
concerned with agricultural and industrial edu- i^*"*» 
cation. In some of the Western universities successful 
attempts were made after 1900 to extend the benefits of 
education to the adult population, and extension divisions 
were established to carry education to the people. In 1914 
the Smith-Lever Act provided for cooperation in agricul- 
tural extension between the Department of Agriculture and 
the land-grant colleges, and the United States assumed a 
part of the responsibility for this type of local instruction. 
In February, 1917, this policy was further extended by an 
act that created the Federal Board of Vocational Educa- 
tion, whose function was to cooperate with the States, 
dollar for dollar, in instruction in agriculture, commerce, 
industry, and domestic science. In each of these cases a 
program of progressive increase was planned and accepted 


locally. A network of new federal instructional officers, 
touching individual citizens in the most remote districts, 
was the outcome. 

Still another division of the Department of Labor began 
immediately to put together a United States employment 
service. The powers for this were derived by implication, 
partly from the organic act of the Department, which 
specified services to the wage-earner, and partly from the 
immigration law of 1907, which gave the Bureau of Immi- 
gration power to assist in placing immigrants where they 
could be used. An emergency call for harvest hands from 
Oklahoma in 191 4 gave the impetus from which an employ- 
ment service was developed in the next two years. 

Another highly controversial measure concerning the 
status of labor was pending in- Congress when the anti- 
Seamen's trust legislation of 1914 was passed. This was 
^^ Andrew Furuseth's Seamen's Bill for the im- 

provement of the conditions of sailors in the merchant serv- 
ice. The bill represented the aspirations of the seamen's 
unions and was designed to revolutionize the relations of 
the sailor to his employer. The prevailing practice made 
a seaman for the term of his contract bound to his master. 
The powers of a captain of a ship at sea, always large, were 
buttressed by the fact that his hands could not desert their 
jobs when his ship touched port. Supported persistently 
by Senator La FoUette, the Furuseth Bill was in Congress 
for two years. It established physical conditions for the 
housing of the crew and their maintenance, effective for all 
merchant ships entering American ports. It provided that 
a seaman at any American port might legally demand half 
the wages due him, and destroyed the power to bring him 
back if he should desert. The power asserted in the law, 
which passed in 1915, ran counter to provisions in the com- 
mercial treaties with most of the maritime powers, by 
which their seamen in America were kept under their own 
jurisdiction as administered by their consuls. The statute 
required the State Department to abrogate these treaties 
to this extent, and the Supreme Court in 1920 upheld the 


constitutionality of the wage requirement. Favored by 
labor, the bill was bitterly opposed by the maritime inter- 
ests, which maintained that it. was the last blow against an 
American merchant marine, already moribund. 

The broadening program of federal activity gave point 
to the title of the New Republic that appeared in Novem- 
ber, 1914, as an organ of progressives. The Critical 
intellectual leadership of the daily newspapers Journalism 
was weakening as the great editors one by one passed off 
the stage. Only Henry Watterson survived of that great 
group that had made their journals real organs for shap- 
ing public opinion in the two decades after the Civil War. 
The opinions of newspapers seemed to be counting for 
less and less as the years went round, and the appearance 
of new weeklies representing different shades of opinion 
and uninfluenced by advertising policies, was a conse- 
quence. Bryan's Commoner (1900) was early in the field, 
and was followed in January, 1909, by La FoUette's Mag- 
azine. Colonel Roosevelt became a contributing editor 
to the Outlook, and later, the Metropolitan Magazine and 
the Kansas City Star, after his retirement from office. 
Max Eastman brought out the Masses as a carrier for 
Socialist opinions in 191 1, and reincarnated it in 191 8 as 
the Liberator. The weekly of radical labor, Solidarity, be- 
gan its course in January, 1910. The old leadership of the 
New York Nation in the formulation of critical opinion 
weakened after the withdrawal of E. L. Godkin, who re- 
tired in 1899. The New Republic in 1914 now added a 
deliberate breadth of vision and was serving seventeen 
thousand subscribers in its second year. Both it and the 
Nation developed so rapidly in their liberalism as to leave 
more conservative critics behind, who brought out in 1919 
the Review as a protest against "unthinking radicalism**; 
while in 1920 the weekly Freeman appeared to struggle for 
the leadership of radical thought. 

The promise of the Democratic platform of 191 2 to re- 
store freedom to the Filipinos at as early a date as possible 
started a discussion in which 192 1 was accepted as the ulti- 


mate date. Ever since Bryan had exerted his influence to 
Philippine accomplish the ratification of the Spanish Treaty 
government [^ jg^g^ ^.j^ig policy had been a Democratic doc- 
trine. In the intervening years steady progress in the 
directions of education, self-government, and peace had 
been the consequence of American administration. The 
Filipino Assembly in 1907 took over the lawmaking power 
that the Philippine Commission appointed by the President 
had hitherto exercised. A new organic act for the islands 
became a law in August, 1916, after a vigorous debate, in 
the early stages of which Secretary of War Garrison declared 
his unwillingness to remain in the Cabinet if the principle 
of immediate independence should be adopted. The new 
act provided for replacing the Philippine Commission with 
an elective Senate as the superior body in the Philippine 
Congress. Nearly three years before its passage the control 
of the Commission had been given over to Filipino citizens. 
Francis Burton Harrison, sent out as Governor-General in 
1913, had announced the Administration policy of adminis- 
tering the Philippine Islands as a trustee for the Filipinos 
with a view to their ultimate independence, and had prom- 
ised to take the steps, one at a time as conditions war- 
ranted them, and to begin by placing power in the hands 
of Filipino appointees. A few weeks after the arrival of 
Governor Harrison at his post occurred an episode that 
illustrated the interest of the President in his success, as 
well as the fact that there was a new regime in Washington. 
The military Order of the Carabao was founded at Manila 
by the officers engaged in suppressing the insurrection of 
Aguinaldo, and established "corrals** at the various army 
centers, where from time to time periodical "wallows'* gave 
an opportunity for members of the Philippine expeditionary 
force to renew their friendships and exchange reminiscences. 
The society drew its name from the draft animal of the 
Filipinos, which was "said to be slower than a camel and 
more obstinate than a mule,'* and whose chief ambition to 
lie down in a puddle provided the name for the local meet- 
ings of the society. In like fashion the military Order of the 


Dragon was formed by the officers who served in China, 
as the Aztec Club had long since been organized by the con- 
querors of Mexico. No importance had ever been given to 
the songs and burlesques that accompanied their annual 
"wallows'* in Washington which resembled in character 
the meetings of the Gridiron Club or the Clover Club. 

In December, 1913, the dinner of the Washington corral 
of the Carabao was followed by a burlesque di- Attack on 
rected against the naval policies of Secretary Bryan and 
Daniels and the interest of Secretary Bryan in 
peace and prohibition, and terminated with the famous 
"insurrecto song" whose refrain ran, 

" Underneath the starry flag 
Civilize them with a krag." 

By order of the President the officers concerned with the 
performance were immediately and publicly rebuked. A 
naval commander already detailed to the Asiatic fleet was 
transferred, and notification was abruptly served on the 
military officers of the United States that it was a gross 
impropriety for them to discredit or interfere with the poli- 
cies of their Government. 

The burlesques of Bryan and Daniels were founded upon 
disapproval. Secretary Bryan was already engaged in 
negotiation of an elaborate series of peace treaties whose 
ideals had been accepted by the Administration. He was 
also one of the leading advocates of prohibition, and had 
announced his devotion to the fight to make the United 
States dry by constitutional amendment. There was wide 
criticism and some serious disapproval of his determination 
not to serve wine at his residence, and the supposed hard- 
ship entailed upon the diplomatic corps when they found 
that he had substituted grape-juice became the subject of 
humorous squibs without number. The humorous weekly, 
Lt/e, took up the joke as though it were serious, and devoted 
itself to a campaign of farce against both Bryan and Daniels. 

Secretary Daniels came into the Navy Department as a 
landsman, as most of his predecessors had done. Shortly 


after his inauguration he approved a recommendation of the 
general board over which Admiral Dewey presided, chang- 
ing the nautical vocabulary from "port" and ''starboard" 
to "left" and "right." There was resentment already de- 
veloping because of his avowed determination to improve 
the condition of the enlisted man and to introduce reforms 
for his education and betterment. The port and starboard 
order was too good an opportunity to be overlooked. 
Broad comedy was based upon it, and revived the interest 
of cartoonists and joke-makers in Gilbert and Sullivan's 
Pinafore, whose admiral owed his rise to a determination to 
"Stick close to your desk and never go to sea." The at- 
tack on Daniels was intensified in 1914 when an order was 
issued requiring naval officers to give up their wine mess, 
and to conform to the temperance regulations imposed upon 
their men. His recommendation that the Government un- 
dertake the manufacture of armor plate and heavy guns in 
order to prevent being gouged by ordnance makers, brought 
him unpopularity from another quarter. This culminated 
at the Carabao dinner, the aftermath of which revealed the 
President fully in support of the members of his official 


Louis H. Haney, Business Organization and Combination (1913), is a 
genera] treatise on the trusts. More special treatments are William Howard 
Taft, The Anti-Trust Act and the Supreme Court (1914) ; E. D. Durand, The 
Trust Problem (1915); and E. T. B. Pierce, The Story of the Trust Com- 
panies (1916). The Annual Reports of the Federal Trade Commission 
and the Department of Labor should be studied. An insular view of the 
Philippines is given in M. M. Kalaw, The Case for the Filipinos (1916); and 
Self-Government in the Philippines (1919). 



The success of President Wilson's policy of settling im- 
mediately the tariff, financial, and banking problems 
brought a solution by the autumn of 1 914 to the B^yan in 
question as to whether or not he could be the State 
leader of his party. William Jennings Bryan, 
whose dominance was unquestioned at the date of the Balti- 
more Convention, was believed to have it in his power to 
wreck the Administration of any other man. His appoint- 
ment as Secretary of State made it possible for the Admin- 
istration to use his influence over Western and Southern 
Democrats, while he in the new office showed a willingness 
to subordinate himself and cooperate with his chief that 
contributed to the successful leadership of the latter. The 
influence of Bryan was always potent at the Capitol, main- 
taining party discipline, soothing the discontented, and 
facilitating the paissage of the statutes of 1913 and 1914. 
By the latter date the President was in actual enjoyment of 
the party leadership that Bryan had possessed, and there 
was no sign of any break between them. 

In the administration of the State Department Bryan 
contributed no special training and no unusual understand- 
ing of the problems. Technical matters were carried on 
by the permanent staff. Minor officials in the diplomatic 
service were promoted and transferred as consistently as the 
law allowed. The chief ambassadors and ministers were 
as usual allowed to retire, and their successors were ap- 
pointed directly from civil life. In the more important 
posts men of letters or active partisans replaced Republican 
predecessors. The editor of World's Work, Walter Hines 
Page, was sent to the Court of St. James, Thomas Nelson 
Page to Rome, Brand Whitlock to Brussels, Henry van 
Dyke to The Hague, and James W. Gerard, a wealthy 


New York judge, to Berlin. It was conunonly believed 
that the President gave the leading title in his Cabinet 
to Bryan, but retained control of the diplomatic policies 
of the State Department himself. 

A few days before the change in administrations Mexico 
underwent another of her periodic revolutions, and a mili- 
Merican tary dictator, Victoriano Huerta, assumed the 
Revolution executive power, displacing Francisco I. Madero, 
whose own title had been based on successful revolution. 
For thirty-five years, until 191 1, Mexico enjoyed toler- 
able tranquillity under the heavy hand of General Porfirio 
Diaz, dictator and President. In the Diaz regime Mexico 
came nearer to the United States as railroads crossed the 
Rio Grande and penetrated the highlands of the Latin 
Republic. Foreigners were encouraged to take concessions 
for the development of Mexican resources. Mining and 
railroad construction were promoted, and in later years, 
when oil was discovered in the State of Tamaulipas, petro- 
leum concessions were granted in the Tampico district. 
Foreign industry found it possible to do business under the 
Diaz regime and the disorder that had formerly existed along 
the Rio Grande was rigorously repressed. By a semblance 
of popular government Diaz reelected himself term after 
term, but in 191 1 he fled the country in the face of an 
agrarian insurrection that brought Madero to the front. 
The protests of the Maderists asserted that natural re- 
sources had been misappropriated, that the common Mex- 
ican was being driven from his land, and that foreign 
capital was dominating the government. The Madero 
regime was never peacefully established over the whole re- 
public. On February 18, 1913, Madero was overturned by 
a military conspiracy, and three days later he was murdered 
amid circumstances that suggested that the new dictator, 
Huerta, was guiltily responsible. Taft took no step re- 
specting Mexico that might embarrass his successor in 
handling the new problem. After the Maderist revolt he 
increased the number of regular troops stationed along the 
Rio Grande in order to lessen the border disturbance that 


invariably accompanied Mexican revolutions. Texan, New 
Mexican, and Arizona towns, with considerable Mexican 
population, found their peace and safety disturbed as plots 
were hatched in them for execution in Mexico, and as 
Mexican fugitives and pursuers carried their fighting across 
the boundary into the United States. 

The murder of Madero gave the Huerta Administration 
a bad start, and in one State at least it was repudiated from 
the beginning. In Coahuila, General Venustiano j^ie Huena 
Carranza refused to recognize the change, and Adminis- 
became the nucleus of an anti-Huerta movement. 
In March, 1912, under the stimulus of the Mexican revolt, 
Congress authorized the President to endeavor to moderate 
domestic violence in the Latin republics by forbidding the 
export of arms and ammunition. Operating under this law 
Taft endeavored to influence the course of the revolution, 
with the result that the Mexican revolutionists were driven 
to procure their supplies in Europe, where German dealers 
were entirely willing to provide them. 

One of the first tasks of Secretary Bryan was that of 
determining what to do with Huerta.' The American 
Ambassador in Mexico, Harry Lane Wilson, openly sup- 
ported the new Government, and returned to Washington 
in the summer to report that the alternative for Mexico 
was Huerta or chaos. The Administration repudiated his 
conduct in the early days of the revolution. He resigned 
his post in August, and John Lind, of Minnesota, was sent 
to Mexico as a confidential agent to investigate the state of 
affairs. On August 27 the President addressed Congress 
upon the crisis, indicating his determination not to intervene, 
but to exert a ''steady pressure of moral force" for the re- 
establishment of peace. Mexico was tg be allowed to work 
out her own problem, with the United States in a position 
of ''watchful waiting'* for the outcome. In October the 
violent dissolution of the Mexican Congress by Huerta 
evoked the announcement that the United States would not 
recognize the Huerta Government or accept the approaching 
Mexican electipn as cgn^titutionaL An American Chargfe 


d*Affaires, Nelson O'Shaughnessy, was allowed to remain 
informally in Mexico, where all of the other great powers had 
already recognized Huerta. The former Ambassador issued 
a public attack upon the Mexican policy of the Adminis- 
tration, and on October 17, 19 13, President Wilson dis- 
cussed the Latin-American relationships of the United 
States in a speech at Mobile. 

The "Mobile Doctrine'* constituted a new interpretation 
of the Doctrine of Monroe. The diplomatic interventions 
The " Mobile of the United States in the affairs of Venezuela 
Doctrine" ^y Cleveland in 1895 and by Roosevelt in 1902 
were welcomed in Latin America as evidence that the 
Monroe Doctrine constituted a safeguard against attack, 
but the brusque treatment of Colombia in 1903 and the 
prevention of her recovery of Panama aroused deep suspi- 
cions of the sincerity of the United States when its own ex- 
pansion was involved. The special missions of Root and 
Knox to the Latin Americas were designed to allay these 
suspicions, which were revived when American business 
interests, aroused by the Mexican revolution, began to de- 
mand an intervention '*to clean up Mexico.** Speaking at 
Mobile, President Wilson promised that the United States 
would never add a foot to its territory by conquest, and ex- 
pressed the hope that law and order might prevail in the 
neighboring republics. A large part of the regular army con- 
tinued in camp along the Rio Grande, where Texas and New 
Mexico were continually demanding protection. 

Huerta, deprived of recognition by the United States, 
was unable to procure substantial aid from other countries 
Canal since these were unwilling to interfere in Ameri- 

^eaty with can problems. As evidence of the sincerity of 

the Mot^ile policy, Bryan signed a treaty with 
Colombia on April 7, 19 14, regretting that the relations of 
the countries had been marred in 1903, and providing com- 
pensation to Colombia for the loss of the Canal Zone. The 
treaty remained only an evidence of administrative intent, 
as the Senate did not ratify it, and two days after its sig- 
nature an episode at Tampicq tested th^ §elf -restraint of 


"watchful waiting." An American naval officer with a few 
marines was arrested by the Huerta forces, and adequate 
apology was not forthcoming. A military and naval demon- 
stration was at once prepared against Vera Cruz. ''There 
can in what we do be no thought of aggression or of selfish 
aggrandizement," said the President as he announced the 
intervention to Congress on April 20, 1914. "We seek to 
maintain the dignity and authority of the United States 
only because we wish always to keep our great influence un- 
impaired for the uses of liberty, both in the United States and 
wherever else it may be employed for the benefit of man- 
kind." In both parties impatience with watchful waiting 
was pronounced. Henry Watterson declared for war 
"because, helpless to help herself, Mexico has become a 
menace to us." 

With Frank F. Fletcher in command of the fleet and 
Frederick Funston in conunand of the expeditionary force 
Vera Cruz was occupied and held for a short Mexican 
period. The " A.B.C." powers— Argentina, Bra- >ntervention 
zil, and Chile — offered their services as mediators between 
the United States and Mexico, which were accepted at once. 
The formal satisfaction for the insult at Tampico was never 
attained, but the steady pressure upon Huerta accomplished 
its result, and he resigned his position on July 15, 1914. 
A few days later he set sail for Spain, an exile from his 
country. But peace failed to be established. General 
Carranza acceded to the presidency, while disorder con- 
tinued throughout the republic ; and along the Rio Grande 
life and property remained uncertain because of revolu- 
tionary turbulence. In the spring of 1916 a second military 
intervention took place in an attempt to capture a notorious 
bandit, one Francisco Villa. This time the whole available 
force of the regular army was used, and the National Guard 
was called out and mobilized along the border. Villa es- 
caped, the invading column was drawn back across the 
Chihuahua desert to El Paso, and there remained nothing 
definite in the Mexican situation except the fixed determi- 
nation of President Wilson not to take advantage of the 


dissensions in the neighboring republic or to restore order 
there by force. 

The patience with which the American Government 
waited for Mexico to right itself and resume the normal ac- 
tivities of government was unpopular at home and abroad. 
Not only was the revolution pushing across the border en- 
dangering life and property in the United States, but within 
Mexico property was destroyed and lives of foreigners 
needlessly sacrificed. The European countries, whose sub- 
jects were suffering, looked to the United States for diplo- 
matic guidance. They did not desire to arouse American 
hostility by intervention, yet were not satisfied to watch 
the losses and destruction without protest. 

The cordial relationships that had existed in 1909 be- 
tween the United States and the rest of the world were being 

Di lomatic ""d^"^^"^' ^^^^ J^pan there was the griev- 
isolation of ance against the United States due to the dis- 
Statw"*^^ criminations which California desired to exert 

against Japanese subjects with reference to land 
tenure. The open protest of the National Administration 
was unable to prevent the passage of discriminatory laws, 
which Japan believed to be in violation of her treaties. 
With Russia there was no treaty in existence to govern com- 
mercial relationships. That Government had refused to 
admit American citizens who happened to be Jews, and in 
retaliation the United States denounced the Treaty of 
1832, in 191 1. The Imperial Government showed no dis- 
position to modify its determination not to surrender its 
control over aliens admitted into the empire, and the 
United States was unwilling to recognize an explicit dis- 
crimination against any class of American citizens. The 
refusal of the Senate to approve the Taft arbitration treaty 
with England was regretted in that country, but was much 
less injurious to friendly relationships than the tolls ex- 
emption clause of the Canal Act of August, 191 2. 

The United States was drifting into a position of isola- 
tion when on March 5, 1914, President Wilson appeared 
before Congress with a formal request for the repeal of the 


tolls exemption clause urging "the justice, the wisdom, 
and the large policy of such a repeal with the 
utmost earnestness." He asserted his belief Panama 
that the exemption policy was not only unsound ^^^^n' 
in an economic way, but was "in plain contra- 
vention ' ' of the Hay-Pauncef ote Treaty. ' ' We are too big, 
too powerful, too self-respecting a nation,'* he urged, "to 
interpret with a too strained or refined reading the words of 
our own promises just because we have power enough to 
give us leave to read them as we please. ... I ask this of 
you in support of the foreign policy of the Administration. 
I shall not know how to deal with other matters of even 
greater delicacy and nearer consequence if you do not 
grant it to me in ungrudging measure.*' 

The inner reasons for this demand on Congress were not 
explained, and the public was left to wonder what inter- 
national catastrophe was impending. The debate on the 
merits of repeal divided Congress without reference to par- 
ties, and continued bitterly for three months. The ca- 
nal itself, meanwhile, was finished. On April i, 1914, Gen- 
eral Goethals became civil governor of the Canal Zone and 
a few days later a barge service was inaugurated through 
the canal. The date for the formal opening was set for 
August 15. 

The tolls repeal act passed the House before the end of 
March and in the Senate was officially defended by Hoke 
Smith, of Georgia, formerly Secretary of the Interior under 
Cleveland. Its ablest support came from Elihu Root, 
while the non-partisan nature of the debate was revealed 
by the fact that 0*Gorman, of New York, chairman of the 
Senate Committee on Oceanic Canals led in opposing it. 
Some Senators who were reluctant to repeal the clause and 
to concede its inequity urged that the matter be referred to 
arbitration under the existing treaty with England. On 
June 15 the repeal act became a law. 

The diplomatic policy indicated by the Mobile speech and 
the repeal of the tolls exemption clause was one of self- 
restraint and fair play, which received wider interpretation 


as Secretary Bryan undertook the negotiation of a series of 
arbitration treaties with the world at large. Bryan, like 
most Americans, was the sort of a friend of peace whom it 
was easy for the unthinking critic to confuse with the the- 
oretical pacifist. In no sense a non-resistant, he believed 
war to be always an evil, and that it ought to be avoided 
in every possible case. He was sharply at variance with 
those who advocated lai^e armies and navies as a means of 
defense, maintaining that these were in reality a provoca- 
tion of war. He urged as a substitute for this type of prepa- 
ration international good faith based upon arbitral agree- 
ments. More than thirty nations accepted his proposals 
in substance. **The high contracting parties agree,'* the 
opening article of each treaty ran, ''that all disputes be- 
tween them, of every nature whatsoever, shall, when diplo- 
matic methods of adjustment have failed, be referred for 
investigation and report to a permanent international com- 
mission . . . and agree not to declare war or begin hostili- 
ties during such investigation and before the report is sub- 

The Senate ratified most of these treaties without delay, 
and their negotiator regarded them as a potent means of 
maintaining peace. The special arbitration treaty with 
Great Britain, due to expire on June 4, 1913, was renewed 
for a period of five years. 

Diplomatic attempts were made to improve the relations 
of the United States with the neighbors in the Caribbean 
Central region and resulted in more definite relationships 

American with Nicaragua and Haiti. The Colombian 

treaty of April 7 was pending in the Senate, 
when in August, 1914, a treaty was signed with Nicaragua 
inspired in part by the assertion of the Minister from 
Nicaragua that the German Government was bidding for 
the control of the potential canal route across his country. 
In accordance with this agreement the United States, for 
the sum of three million dollars in gold, acquired the owner- 
ship of the Nicaragua right of way between the two oceans. 
In addition it acquired the control of islands for naval 


bases in the Caribbean and of shore rights on the Gulf of 
Fonseca. The purchase money was to be administered 
jointly '* for the advancement of the welfare of Nicaragua," 
and in the control of its expenditure the United States 
acquired rights inferior to those of the protectorate plan of 
1910, but quite sufficient to influence the course of that 

The purchase of the Nicaragua right of way, which the 
Senate ratified in 191 6, failed to moderate the Central 
American suspicion of the United States. Both Costa 
Rica and Salvador had interests in either the right of way 
itself or the Gulf of Fonseca at its western end. They 
brought suit for redress in the Central American Supreme 
Court that the United States had urged them to found, but 
got no redress because that body was without jurisdiction 
over the United States. It was their claim that Nicaragua 
had no power to dispose of a canal right without their con- 
sent. The Government of Haiti was reestablished as an 
American protectorate by a treaty of September 16, 191 5. 
Its finances were brought under American control, and 
American naval forces were called upon to assist in maintain- 
ing order here as in Santo Domingo, Nicaragua, and Hon- 
duras. In the Caribbean, as in Mexico, the dilemma 
remained unsolved. It was impracticable to secure the 
cordial friendship of the Latin-American countries without 
treating them as equals and keeping hands off their affairs. 
It was impossible for them, with their own resources, to 
maintain the standard of public order and security to life 
and property prevalent in the United States or Europe. A 
growing consciousness that European powers might not 
indefinitely tolerate Latin-American disorder made the di- 
lemma a practical one admitting of no evasion. 

While the tolls repeal bill was in its last stages in Congress 
and General Goethals was preparing for the inauguration of 
commerce through the canal, another great canal opening of 
was being brought into service. At Kiel the Panama and 
German Emperor, William II, opened the en- 
larged canal between the Baltic and the North Sea. At 


the original opening of this canal in 1895, a few ships in the 
American White Squadron took part in the celebration. In 
the years ensuing the canal became a part of Germany's 
naval establishment, and German battleships that could 
now take safe refuge in the Baltic were floated in increasing 
numbers in conscious rivalry to those of England. The 
first battleship of the dreadnaught class placed in commis- 
sion by England in 1906 made the Kiel Canal obsolete as 
an adjunct to warfare because no ship of dreadnaught di- 
mensions could be passed through its locks. Its rebuilding 
on a larger scale was immediately undertaken, while the 
keels of German dreadnaughts were laid down in the years 
after 1906; but until the enlarged canal was ready for use 
the power of the German navy was maimed. The formal 
reopening in the week ending on July i, 191 4, was believed 
by Germany to be the forerunner of great events. The 
latter days of the festivities, however, were marred by the 
news that Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Crown Prince of 
Austria, had been murdered at Sarajevo on June 28. The 
train of events that this precipitated, made possible, if not 
promoted, by the fact tlmj the Kiel Canal was open, brought 
new problems in the next few weeks to test the sincerity of 
the American Government in its professions of fair play and 


Robinson and West, The Foreign Policy of Woodrow Wtlson (19 17), 
contains a useful commentary upon the State papers of the Administra- 
tion. Upon the Mexican problem there is interesting descriptive material 
in Edith G>ues O'Shaughnessy, A Diplomat's Wife in Mexico (1916), and 
Diplomatic Days in Mexico (19 17). The Central American topics are 
covered in Dana G. Munro, The Five Republics of Central America (19 18); 
Chester Lloyd Jones, The Caribbean Interests of the United States (19 17); 
and Joseph B. Bishop, The Panama Gateway (1913). Albert Bushnell 
Hart, The Monroe Doctrine (1915), is a judicious and comprehensive sum- 



The murder of the Austrian Archduke was interpreted as 
an episode in the Pan-Slav struggle in the Balkans to ob- 
struct the Pan-German pressure toward Con- The World 
stantinople and the East, with its accompanying ^^ 
idea of a Central Europe under German influence. By an- 
nexing Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908 the Dual Monarchy 
had added fuel to the Slavic grievances in general and those 
of Serbia in particular. The suspicion that the murder 
was due to a Serbian plot gave pretext for an Austrian at- 
tack to remove forever the obstacles to Teutonic advance 
in the region of the Bosphorus. Great Britain was on the 
verge of civil war, with Ulster armed and angry. Russia 
appeared to be in the throes of revolutionary movements, 
the outgrowth of the partial revolution of 1905. France 
gave superficial evidence of decay within her government 
and army. The United States, far removed from European 
concerns, was on the verge of war with Mexico and perhaps 
Japan. An overbearing ultimatum addressed by Austria 
to Serbia on July 23, 19 14, was expected to produce not sat- 
isfaction, but a cause for war. Five days later the bom- 
bardment of Belgrade began and within the next few days 
the World War became a fact. 

One by one the European powers were drawn in. Russia 
mobilized in defense of Serbia and France followed to be 
prepared for contingencies in the event of a Russian war. 
The German Empire, which had approved the ultimatum 
in advance and underwritten its consequences, mobilized 
against Russia and France, and exerted all its diplomatic 
powers to persuade England to stand aloof. The British 
fleet, assembled for a great review off Spithead on July 20, 
was held together after the review in control of the Eng- 
lish Channel, The great powers went to war beginning 


August I . On the following day the German forces cn>ssed 
the Belgian frontier en route to France. 

The invasion of Belgium, a neutralized state, whose sta- 
tus Germany like the other European powers was under 
contract to respect, aroused the world as no other fact since 
the Crusades had done. It shifted the issue at once from 
the immediate merits of the controversy between Teutons 
and Slavs to the larger issue of world peace, and shifted the 
original combatants in the struggle, Austria and Serbia, to 
an inferior rank, as the German Empire assumed the position 
of aggressor against a peaceful world for the carrying out of 
her military ambitions. The Belgian forts, Li^ge and the 
rest, retarded Germany's advance enough to spoil the scheme 
for a surprise blow upon France and the seizure of Paris be- 
fore Russia could complete her mobilization. Five weeks 
later J off re checked the German armies at the Mame and 
Europe settled down to a war of exhaustion that involved 
the world. 

The course for the United States to take in this war had 
long been established by precedent and theory. The mod- 
American em doctrine of neutrality was an American idea 
neutrality ^^^ Washington had conceived and Jefferson 
phrased in 1793. The American Neutrality Act of 1794 
was the foundation of all such acts wherever they existed, 
and the progress of international law thereafter was due 
largely to the insistence of neutral states, generally under 
American leadership and demanding that belligerents re- 
spect their rights and property, and leave them alone. 

American insistence upon the rights of neutrals included 
also an acceptance of the duties of neutrals to belligerents. 
Proclamations of neutrality were issued by the United 
States as succeeding powers entered the war, and on 
August 18 the President addressed the nation upon its at- 
titude to the struggle. It was too early to form any clear 
view of the general drift of the war, and authentic stories 
of its conduct were hardly yet available. It still appeared 
to be a war of Europe which Americans might interpret as 
the normal outcome of the competitive military prepara- 


tions of the combatants. From the information at hand 
the President could say that *'it is entirely within our own 
choice what its effects upon us will be" ; and he went on to 
urge American citizens, drawn most of them from the na- 
tions at war, to keep down their passions, restrain their 
partisanship, and think first of the United States, ** a nation 
that neither sits in judgment upon others, nor is disturbed 
in her own councils, and which keeps herself fit and free to 
do what is honest and disinterested, and truly serviceable 
for the peace of the world." 

The first acts of neutrality comprised friendly services 
to the belligerents. The American Ambassadors at Lon- 
don, Berlin, Paris, St. Petersburg, and Rome Friendly 
were accepted as custodians of the deserted em- services 
bassies of the various belligerents, and were at once en- 
gaged in relief work for the benefit of distressed non-com- 
batants who found themselves in enemy country when the 
war broke out. As the German troops overran Belgium 
and the National Government retreated from Brussels, 
Brand Whitlock and the Spanish Ambassador remained at 
their posts as Washburne had done at Paris in 1870, not 
only to represent their nations, but to serve mankind. The 
American embassies, undermanned at best, organized emer- 
gency groups of assistants, picking up Americans who 
chanced to be in Europe and using them in the relief work. 
Thousands of Americans found themselves stranded in a 
world at war. To relieve these an American warship was 
immediately dispatched with a store of American gold that 
»ngress appropriated at once. The relief of belligerent 
ejects was hardly started before there began to pour 
OSS the Belgian frontiers and across the Channel into 
igland a stream of Belgian refugees. Dispossessed by a 
vless invader, with their homes destroyed and lives need- 
isly lost, the condition of the Belgians helped to crystallize 
utral opinion as to the merits of the war. The American 
ief committee in London was organized under the leader- 
ip of an American mining engineer, Herbert C, Hoover, 
d out of it there developed in October the C,R,B. — the 


Commission for the Relief of Belgium — into whose hands 
the life of the Belgian civil population was entrusted. 

American public opinion was stunned by the fact of war, 
and accepted with approval the statements of neutrality, 
Censorship which were harmonious at once with American 
and propa- policy and with the conditions of general ig- 
norance respecting European affairs that pre- 
vailed aver most of the United States. It was some months 
before Colonel Roosevelt and his friends voiced the con- 
trary doctrine, that ** neutrality is at best a drab-colored, 
selfish, and insignificant virtue, even when it w a virtue; and 
it is often a particularly obnoxious vice. " It became difficult 
to get authentic facts upon which to form a judgment. 
Newspaper correspondents were not welcome in the war 
zone, official censors colored the stories that were given out, 
and the British Government controlled the European cable 
terminals and mails. Propaganda took the place of news 
so far as the belligerents were concerned, and American 
opinion became skeptical as to the reliability of facts as 
printed. On August lo a group of Americans of German 
ancestry brought out the first issue of the weekly. The 
Fatherland, in the interest of the Central Powers. In a 
poem directed to "William II, Prince of Peace," the editor 
himself cried out: 

" But thy great task will not be done 

Until thou vanquish utterly 
The Norman brother of the Hun, 
England, the Serpent of the S«i." 

The German propaganda in America devoted itself to a 
blackening of the fame of England, and to a unification of 
the Germans in the United States. There were of these, in 
1910, 8,712,149 either bom in Germany or with one parent 
bom there. Since the visit of Prince Henry of Prussia and 
the formation of the National German-American Alliance 
in 1902 the organization of this group had been tightened 
and extended. The Fatherland attempted to attach to it 
on the basis of anti-British feeling the Americans of Irish 
extraction, who, since the Fenian movement, had consist- 


ently opposed acts of agreement with Great Britain and 
who were already partially organized in the American Truth 
Society to fight the rapprochement due to the termination 
of a hundred years of peace. 

On the other side of the debate centers of influence were 
soon visible, a few inspired by sympathy with England, but 
most of them judging the war from the basis of Pro- Allies 
the invasion of Belgium, the expulsion of non- ®p"*»o» 
combatants, the reign of frightfulness at Louvain and else- 
where, and the deliberate bombardment of the cathedral at 
Rheims. For these the cause of the Central Powers was a 
wicked cause. When on September 5, 1914, Russia, Great 
Britain, and France signed an agreement that none of the 
three would ''conclude peace separately during the present 
war" and became by this fact the Allies, the Americans 
who detested the acts of Germany became known as the 
"pro-Allies." The great body of Americans in 1914, how- 
ever, stood aloof from the active controversy of propaganda, 
content with their traditional neutrality. 

The Great War, coming on top of the canal tolls dispute 
and the Mexican crisis, disturbed the tranquillity with 
which Congress applied itself to the legislative tasks before 
it. In spite of the distractions thus promoted, the anti- 
trust legislation was advanced to a conclusion, and on 
October 24 Congress adjourned after the longest continuous 
session on record. The Clayton Anti-Trust Law was com- 
pleted, and the Federal Trade Commission was immedi- 
ately launched, while the federal reserve system authorized 
the year before was ready to open its reserve banks in 

The Tariff Act of 191 3 was in operation, but called for 
unforeseen amendment because of the war in Europe. Im- 
ports from the Central Powers were immediately ^^^ 
restricted by the Allied blockades while Allied revenue 
dipping found itself speedily diverted from ^* 
American traffic to troop transport and other national serv- 
ice. American imports fell away and the tariff revenue 
derived from them was lessened nearly ninety million dol-* 


lars during the fiscal year 1914-15. In anticipation of this 
emergency a war revenue bill was put through Congress, 
designed to produce one hundred million dollars extra 
revenue chiefly by internal taxation, and became a law 
October 22. It was preceded in enactment by a ship 
registry law inspired by the war-time crisis, and permitting 
merchant ships of foreign ownership to be transferred to 
American registry. The war revealed the fact that the 
United States was at the mercy of the world for the carri^e 
of its ocean freights. The cotton crop of 1914 piled up at 
Southern terminals because of lack of ships to carry it 
abroad. Another shipping bill was introduced providing 
for the erection of a United States Shipping Board with 
power to purchase, equip, maintain, and operate a merchant 
fleet. This project remained under debate for more than 
two years, before its final passage in 191 6; but a war-risk 
bill was signed September 2, 19 14, authorizing the Treasury 
Department to control the extortionate rates of the com- 
mercial insurance companies by establishing a Bureau of 
War Risk Insurance to underwrite these risks at a reason- 
able price. 

Congress adjourned only ten days before the November 
election at which the Sixty-Fourth Congress was to be 
Democratic selected. For two years the majority party, 
successes, held together by the strictest of discipline, had 

enacted the program demanded by progressive 
citizens regardless of party. Early in the spring of 1914 
the Democratic National Committee, with ** unwonted 
democratic forehandedness/' began the issue of campaign 
literature setting forth '*a record of achievement." The 
Progressive Party had begun to evaporate. Many of its 
members found themselves able to support the Democratic 
program and others relapsed into the Republican organiza- 
tion where they were welcomed back. The Progressive 
vote in 19 14 was so unimportant as to make the contest one 
between the two old parties, and to raise a clear issue as to 
whether Democratic control could be founded upon niiajority 
votes. In Pennsylvania, where Roosevelt had carried the 


primaries before him in 1912, there were three candidates in 
a senatorial contest. Boies Penrose, one of the inner group 
of "stand-pat" Republicans, gained the election directly 
from the people, over the Democrat, A. Mitchell Palmer, 
and Gifford Pinchot, the Progressive candidate. The Dem- 
ocratic leaders in the Congressional election made what 
use they could of the World War and the American disposi- 
tion toward neutrality. They printed on their campaign 
literature the text, '* War in the East. Peace in the West. 
Thank God for Wilson!" The Democrats became for the 
time being a majority party as a result of the election, with 
a lead of nearly thirty votes in the House over the combined 
Republicans and Progressives, and of fourteen in the Senate. 
When the new session opened in December, 19 14, further 
statements were received from the President as to the effect 
of the war upon the United States. 

As the leading neutral in the war, and particularly be- 
cause of American dependence upon foreign merchant 
marine, the United States developed a list of American 
grievances against the belligerents and notably grievances 
against those whose power lay on the high seas. The naval 
power of the Allies surrounded the water entrances to Ger- 
many with a blockade whose effectiveness was soon com- 
plete, but whose powers were exercised chiefly in connection 
with the belligerent rights of contraband and search. The 
Declaration of London, formulated in 1909 for the purpose 
of codifying the rules of maritime law, had not been ratified, 
and the practice of the powers reverted to the unwritten 
principles of international law. Under the law of blockade 
it would have been permissible for the Allied warships to 
cut off all trade with German ports and to confiscate as law- 
ful prize all vessels attempting to evade the blockade. The 
Allies reifrained from exercising this privilege because of its 
inadequacy. With German ports closed, there developed 
at once an increase in the imports of Italy, Holland, and 
Scandinavia, whose ports were not subject to blockade and 
from whose territory, by land routes, neutral supplies could 
find their way to German and Austrian consumers. Since 


no right to blockade neutral ports was recognized, a block- 
ade of German ports could at best divert the traffic, but 
could not stop it. 

The law of contraband was elaborated to suit the needs 
of the existing war, and precedents created by the United 
States during the Civil War were produced by the Allies 
to sustain the correctness of the practice. During the Civil 
War American naval vessels had seized munitions en route 
from Europe to British ports in the Bahamas, to Havana, 
or to Matamoros in northern Mexico. The United States 
Supreme Court upheld these seizures as lawful because the 
destination of the contraband was clearly to aid the enemy. 
The Anglo-British Claims Convention after the Civil War 
did not overturn them. They were now cited to justify 
the seizure of contraband destined for Germany, though 
billed to Copenhagen or Rotterdam or some other neutral 
port. When the German Empire perfected its organization 
so that the whole nation was mobilized for war, and the 
distinction between combatant and non-combatant disap- 
peared, the Allies enlarged the list of contraband, contend- 
ing that any supplies destined for the civil population of 
Germany were in reality supplies of war. The growing use 
of cotton for explosives brought that commodity within the 
contraband list. 

In addition to the vexatious enlargement of the contra- 
band list, the Allies exercised the right of search in a new 
form, taking neutral vessels into port in order to examine 
them, and seizing and searching the mails they carried for 
the light they might throw upon enemy operations. Ameri- 
can protests began early against these practices, and were 
continuing with increasing acerbity when Germany ad- 
vanced a view of maritime law whose novelty and horror 
forced the Allied excesses into obscurity. 

The submarine boat was an American invention that all 
countries had adopted as a part of their naval establish- 
The sub- ments. On February 4, 1915, the German Gov- 
marine emment, having already protested because the 

United States failed to compel the Allies to respect the 


American view of neutral rights, so useful to the Central Pow- 
ers, announced a war zone about the British Isles, within 
which, beginning on February 18, they proposed to use sub- 
marines to sink and destroy ** every enemy merchant ship 
. . . even if it is impossible to avert dangers which threaten 
the crew and passengers." No right of indiscriminate de- 
struction of merchant shipping has ever existed or been 
claimed and this proposed policy was conceded to be in ex- 
cess of law and was justified only as a retaliation directed 
against England. Before it became operative Submarine 
the German Government was warned by the ^"'^"^^ 
United States as to the possible consequences in case 
American merchant vessels or American citizens should 
be lost. " It is, of course, not necessary to remind the Ger- 
man Government that the sole right of a belligerent in deal- 
ing with neutral vessels on the high seas is limited to visit 
and search unless a blockade is proclaimed and effectively 
maintained, which this Government does not understand 
to be proposed in this case. To declare or exercise a right 
to attack and destroy any vessel entering a prescribed area 
of the high seas without first determining its belligerent 
nationality and the contraband character of its cai^ 
would be an act so unprecedented in naval warfare that 
this Government is reluctant to believe that the Imperial 
Government of Germany in this case contemplates it as 
possible." The German Government was warned that it 
would be held to *'a strict accountability" for "strict 
any acts that might result, and that the United account- 
States would do what might be necessary "to * '* ^ 
safeguard American lives and property and to secure to 
American citizens the full enjoyment of their acknowl- 
edged rights on the high seas." 

Three months after the beginning of submarine warfare 
the catastrophe that had been foreseen occurred. On May 
7, 1915, the British liner, Lusitania, en route to The L«- 
Liverpool, was sunk off the coast of Ireland with- ^^^^ 
out warning by a German submarine. Among the 1200 lost 
were 114 Americans, including women and children, whose 


destruction was denounced that night by Colonel Roosevelt 
as "an act of piracy," and convinced the nation of the im- 
minence of war. 

In three notes directed to Germany after the sinking of 
the Ltisitania President Wilson sought to bring that nation 
to an abandonment of her submarine policy and to lead his 
country to a clear understanding of the crisis. The second 
note, dated June 9, produced the resignation of Bryan from 
the Cabinet because of his unwillingness to be responsible 
for war, should it occur. ** Nothing but actual forcible re- 
sistance or continued efforts to escape by flight when or- 
dered to stop,** ran the argument of the second note, . . . 
**has ever been held to forfeit the lives of . . . passengers 
or crew. . . . The sinking of passenger ships involves prin- 
ciples of humanity which throw into the background any 
special circumstances of detail .... The Government of 
the United States is contending ... for nothing less high 
and sacred than the rights of humanity . . . [and] cannot 
admit that the proclamation of a war zone . . . may be 
made to operate as in any degree an abbreviation of the 
rights ... of American shipmasters or of American citi- 
zens. . . ." In his third note of July 21, for the replies had 
been evasive and unsatisfactory. President Wilson warned 
Germany that a repetition of the outrage would be con- 
strued as "deliberately unfriendly." This was his last 
word upon the Lusiiania, and on the same day he directed 
the Secretaries of War and Navy to take up the prepara- 
tion of plans for national defense. "Wilson has lost ninety 
per cent of the German-American vote," complained The 
Fatherland; but the German Government heeded the warn- 
ing for a time and saw to it that no outrage of similar m^^- 
nitude occurred until the following spring. 

The Lusitania affair turned the National Administration 
to an advocacy of measures of preparedness, which an 
Prepared- earnest minority had discussed since the autumn 
nessmovc- of 1914. The attack on Belgium, coming with- 
out provocation, was a warning as to what might 
happen to the United States, and new voices were heard in 


Congress demanding a reconsideration of national defense. 
"For a dozen years," declared Gardner, of Massachusetts, 
who led in the preparedness movement, " I have sat here 
like a coward in silence and listened while men have told 
us how the United States can safely depend on the state 
militia and the naval reserve. All the time I knew that it 
was not true." ^ 

The fight for preparedness was waged on the floor of 
Congress, in the press, and by means of propagandist soci- 
eties. The National Security League, organized in Decem- 
ber, 1914, took up a work that the Navy League had been 
pressing with little response for a dozen years. In August, 
1 91 5, the more intense members of this society broke away 
from it to organize the American Defense Society because 
the National Security League was unwilling to denounce 
members of the Democratic Administration for failures in 
preparedness. The American Rights Committee, formed 
in December, 191 5, was still more extreme and demanded 
instant warfare* 

The National Administration was unwilling in the session 
of 1914-15 to destroy the effect of its stand for neutrality 
by making the menace of warlike preparations. The ad- 
vocates of preparedness were denounced variously by pro- 
Germans, by pacifists, and by Americans who saw in pre- 
paredness only another aspect of the conspiracy of big busi- 
ness. Denunciations of the manufacturers of munitions 
were used by this last group to meet arguments for national 
defense. The Administration stood aloof from the actual 
controversy until the discussion of the Lusitania was over. 
Thereafter it led the movement. In January, 1916, Presi- 
dent Wilson took to the stump to urge his policies of pre- 


W. H. Hobbs, The World War and Us Consequences (1919), is one of the 
most outspoken summaries of the period of neutrality, is strongly anti- 
Wilson, and bears a lavish endorsement from Colonel Roosevelt. James 
W. Gerard, My Four Years in Germany (1917), was published serially in 
the newspapers, and acquired great popularity as a war tract. John Bach 


McMaster, The Untied States in the World War (1918), gives a detailed 
study of the forces at play upon public opinion. Roland G. Usher, The 
Story of the Great War (1920), is a popular summary of the whole conflict, 
as is C. J. H. Hayes, A Brief History of the Great War (1920). Constance 
Gardner, Some Letters of Augustus Peabody Gardner (1920), is the record 
of an early and consistent advocate of preparedness. 



The debate over preparedness, beginning in the autumn of 
1 914, extended through the following year as its implica- 
tions came to be understood, until at last it Pacifist 
constituted one of the greatest struggles for the movements 
control of American public opinion. The preparedness 
societies that took the lead in presenting the case were fol- 
lowed by propagandist organizations of diverse opinions, 
working sometimes in secret and sometimes in the open. 
The need for preparedness came as a shock to the bulk of 
American opinion, whose pacific tendencies prejudiced it 
against the use of force. An American League to Limit 
Armaments was organized in December, 191 4, under the 
leadership of anti-militarists and non-resistants. A year 
later the American Union Against Militarism appeared 
under much the same leadership, but more completely 
under the control of Socialists and pacifists. The Women's 
Peace Party, formed in Washington in January, 1915, with 
Jane Addams as its head, conducted an active campaign 
for theoretical peace, and dispatched its leader to Europe 
at the head of a women's delegation to try to stop the war. 
Individual leaders of these movements gained access to the 
well-known motor manufacturer, Henry Ford, with the re- 
sult that on December 4, 191 5, the Oscar II, chartered by 
this philanthropist, sailed for Copenhagen with a great 
delegation of peace advocates aboard, **to try to get the 
boys out of the trenches and back to their homes by Christ- 
mas day.'* 

By the end of 191 5 these pacifist societies were left in the 
control of Socialists and non-resistants, while the more 
constructive members who had started in with League to 
them switched their support to a different pro- Enforce 
gram, which was launched in Independence Hall ^ 
in Philadelphia on June 17, 191 5. In preceding months 


groups of statesmen in England and America worked over 
rough drafts for a league of nations which should produce 
peace by preventing war, and by providing a substitute 
for war as a means of settling international disputes. It 
was peace backed by force that the League to Enforce Peace 
proposed. Among its leaders were ex-President Taft, 
A. Lawrence Lowell, President of Harvard University, and 
Hamilton Holt, editor of the Independent. The Independ- 
ence Hall conference issued **a declaration of interdepend- 
ence" that was widely accepted during the ensuing months. 
A year later, when the league held its annual meeting in 
Washington, its general program received the support of 
President Wilson. Before the end of 191 6 the leaders of 
all the responsible belligerents had accepted the principle 
of a league of nations. 

The bitter debate between peace and preparedness was 
made more difficult to follow by the open propaganda of 
Munitions German sympathizers and secret intrigue ema 
embargoes nating from the German Embassy at Washington. 
The former group, adhering to the cause of Germany from 
the opening of the war, denounced "perfidious Albion" 
and devoted themselves particularly to the attack upon the 
conditions produced by the British naval power. Save for a 
handful of submarines and an occasional raider, German 
vessels were swept from the oceans of the world. The 
imports of food and munitions were cut off by a rigorous 
blockade that could neither be broken nor evaded. Unable 
to avail itself of the right conferr